Skip to main content

Full text of "Letters of George Wyndham, 1877-1913"

See other formats


LIBRARY 

UNIVERSITY  OF  CALIFORNIA 
RIVERSIDE 


LETTERS    OF    GEORGE    WYNDHAM 


j^UUuncthcLsn 
&          er 

killi-il  in  action,  Sept.  Utk,  J91U 


vi  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

CHAPTER  XIII 
FEBRUARY  1910  TO  MAY  1911 

PAGE 

In  Opposition — Army  Debate — France — His  Parents'  Golden 
Wedding — His  Rectorial  Address  '  The  Springs  of  Romance' 
—The  General  Election — His  Father's  Death  .  .  384 

CHAPTER  XIV 
JUNE  1911  TO  JUNE  1913 

Wookey  Hole — The  'Die  Hard'  Movement— His  Silver  Wedding 
— The  Chapel  at  Clouds — His  Library — His  Son's  Engage- 
ment and  Marriage — Rural  England  ....  447 

INDEX  TO  THE  LETTERS  557 


CORRIGENDA 
VOL.  II. 

P.  23,  1.  25,  read  '  promontory '  for  '  promenade. 

P.  31,  1.  9,  read  '  man  or  a  mouse.' 

P.  257, 1.  2,  read  'Letters'  for  'letter.' 

P.  365,  1.  2,  read  '  Hewins'  for  'Henins.' 

P.  435,  1.  3,  read  'goal'  for  'gold.' 

P.  482,  1.  12,  read  'Calveley'  for  'Calverley.' 

P.  486,  1.  14,  read  'measure'  for  'mitre.' 

P.  555,  1.  20,  read  'my'  for  'any.' 


LETTERS 


CHAPTER  IX 

NOVEMBER  1900  TO  FEBRUARY  1905 

Chief  Secretary  of  State  for  Ireland— The  South  African  War— The 
Land  Bill— 'The  Development  of  the  State.' 

417 

To  his  Father 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  OFFICE, 
DUBLIN  CASTLE    November  VJth,  1900. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — Old  Briggs  has  written  to  me  also. 
It  is  a  '  distinction  '  to  be  out  of  the  Cabinet  anyway. 

I  have  been  here  a  week  and  find  plenty  to  do  and 
many  interests  and  memories.  I  ride  in  the  Phoenix 
8.30  to  9.30,  breakfast  at  10,  read  papers,  to  Castle  at 
11.30  and  leave  at  6  o'clock. 

Everyone  is  very  kind  but  I  see  rocks  ahead. 

I  return  to  London  December  7th ;  if  you  could  start 
not  before  10th  or  12th  I  should  see  you  and  Mamma  and 
Perf .  We  shall  be  at  '  35  '  from  7th  to  end  of  session 
about  17th  Dec.  then  back  here  for  Christmas  and  until 
the  House  meets  in  February.  We  have  handed  Saighton 
over  to  Bendor  pro  tern,  so  as  to  confirm  our  resolution 
not  to  be  absentees. 

Best  love  to  Mamma  and  Ditchmouse. — Your  loving 
son,  GEORGE. 

418 

To  Charles  T.  Gatty 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  OFFICE, 
DUBLIN  CASTLE,  1? 'th  November  1900. 

MY  DEAR  OLD  CHARLES, — I  find  that  the  Government 
of  this  country  is  carried  on  by  continuous  conversation. 

VOL.  II.  A 


2  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

I  have  now  been  talking  and  listening  for  a  week.  That 
is  why  I  am  so  late  in  thanking  you  for  your  congratulations. 

I  am  already  intensely  interested  hi  my  work  here. 

You  simply  must  come  and  stay  with  us  hi  January. 
Nice  house,  Phoenix  Park,  divine  view  of  Wicklow  Hills, 
golden  and  green  glamour  over  everything,  Celtic  twi- 
light always  on  tap — Religion,  Comparative  Mythology, 
Ethnology,  round  the  corner. 

Come,  my  dear,  and  do  Celtic  Crosses,  the  Book  of 
Kells,  or  what  you  will,  provided  you  come. — Yours 
affectionately,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

419 

To  his  Sister,  Madeline 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
PH<ENIX  PARK,  DUBLIN,  25th  November  1900. 

MOST  DARLING  MANENAI, — I  loved  your  dear  letter. 
I  am  very  happy  here.  Not  that  I  hope  to  succeed 
personally.  A  man  who  expected  personal  success  hi 
Ireland  would  be  ripe  for  Hanwell.  But  the  work  is 
most  interesting,  and  the  '  call '  peremptory.  I  feel 
that  I  was  destined  to  come  here.  My  solitary  trump  is 
Mamma.  Dear  old  things  remember  dancing  with  her. 
And  everyone  in  the  country  says  4  at  any  rate  his  Mother 
was  born  hi  Ireland.'  It  is  a  land  of  sorcery  ;  false,  but 
so  fair  that  the  adventurer  willingly  dives  beneath  the 
waters  to  reach  the  enchanted  palace  of  the  Princess 
Arianrhod.  This  means  that  I  swim  in  '  Celtic  twilight ' 
but  through  the  green  and  golden  witchery  comes  the 
piercing  appeal  of  grinding  and  hopeless  poverty.  I 
walk  like  the  mermaid  in  Andersen  on  pointed  knives. 

I  got  back  from  the  congested  districts  last  night. 
Have  driven  for  three  days  over  tracks  of  stone  and  bog 
with  houses  like  pigsties,  huddled  on  to  every  soppy  knoll 
that  swells  out  of  the  quagmire.  In  one  room,  11  feet 
by  7  feet,  was  a  family  of  five.  In  the  other  room  of  the 
hovel,  a  family  of  7,  a  loom,  a  pig,  a  cow,  a  donkey,  a 
bed,  a  spinning-wheel  and  a  cradle.  It  is  beyond  belief. 


3 

And  every  soul  is  a  gentleman  or  a  lady  who  entertains 
you  with  wit  and  pathos. 

I  travelled  all  yesterday  back  from  Mallaranny — near 
Achill — dressed  at  the  Hotel  and  on  to  a  public  Dinner 
of  bigwigs  and  the  Irish  Hospital.  The  toast  list  was 
interminable.  I  did  not  speak  till  20  to  12.  But  luckily 
'  got  home  '  and  so  back  to  bed  about  1.15,  dog-tired. 

In  this  country  you  must  never  be  tired  and  never  in 
a  hurry.  You  must  listen  and  laugh  with  everyone  and 
master  the  land-acts  and  agricultural  returns  in  stolen 
moments.  But  still  you  get  wonderful  experience,  for 
all  the  departments  are  under  the  Chief  Secretary. 

Love  to  Charlie. — Your  most  loving  brother, 

GEORGE. 

420 

To  his  Mother 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
PH<ENIX  PARK,  DUBLIN,  November  25th,  1900. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  loved  your  letter  and  I 
believe  in  its  ideal.  We  are  the  children  of  the  Past, 
England,  Ireland,  Scotland  and  Wales,  and  we  have 
younger  brothers  and  sisters  by  a  second  marriage,  Canada, 
Australasia,  South  Africa.  Ireland  is  the  daughter  about 
whom  the  parents  quarrelled.  She  has  been  Cinderella 
and  is  poor  and  hurt.  But  now  invited  back  to  her  seat 
on  the  dais  she  may  take  a  common  pride  in  being  one  of 
the  first  family.  But  all  this  is  far  away  and  not  ready 
as  yet  even  to  be  spoken  of.  She  is  still  too  poor. 

We  will  have  a  long  talk  hi  London.  I  am  not  only 
reconciled  to  being  here.  I  see  it  was  inevitable.  A 
Chief  Secretary  is  like  a  Ghibellme  Duke  of  the  13th 
century  representing  Empire  and  a  larger  organic  concep- 
tion in  a  Guelf  republic.  Many  have  failed  here  because 
they  did  not  realize  that  they  were  not  in  the  19th  century. 
I  always  have  a  difficulty  in  persuading  myself  that  I 
am.  I  really  love  the  Irish  and  they  have  been  very 
kind  and  courteous  to  me  during  the  last  fortnight. 


4  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

I  went  round  the  North  of  Connaught  to  Mallaranny 
by  Achill  from  Tuesday  to  Saturday.  It  was  of  the 
greatest  service  to  me  and  a  brilliant  tragi-comedy  all 
the  time.  We  drove  and  drove — such  a  party !  Self, 
Hanson  ;  Wrench,  a  Unionist,  loyal,  sensible  land  com- 
missioner. Father  O'Hara,  Father  O'Flyn  who  was 
'  advanced '  and  is  enchanting.  Mr.  Doran,  the  other 
type,  a  slow  pragmatical  Irishman,  whose  eye  only  gleams 
when  he  points  out  arterial  drainage.  And  so  we  bumped 
round,  going  into  the  cottiers'  wretched  hovels.  No  one 
knows  in  England  what  '  Hell  or  Connaught '  means. 
And  all  the  Nationalist  remedies  of  confiscation  and 
compulsory  sale  would  only  stereotype  an  intolerable 
existence.  I  wish  you  and  Pamela  could  have  seen  Srah, 
a  heap  of  hovels  huddled  on  to  one  soppy  knoll  above  the 
bog  level — in  effect  a  simple  piggery.  One  house  had  a 
family  of  five  in  one  room  11  feet  by  7  feet.  In  the  other 
room  a  family  of  seven.  It  was  complete  and  picturesque, 
stooping  to  get  under  the  lintel  and  waiting  till  your  eyes 
could  pierce  the  peat-haze  there  slowly  emerged  to  sight 
— a  hand  loom  ;  the  pig  ;  the  cow  and  her  manger  ;  the 
donkey ;  the  bed ;  a  rocking-cradle  with  child ;  the 
hearth ;  the  spinning-wheel. 

Yesterday  morning  at  Mallaranny  with  its  wild  fuschia 
hedges  we  had  the  full  rain-laden  blast  from  the  Atlantic. 
Took  a  special  at  12.20  to  Westport  and  caught  the  mail 
passing  Athlone  to  Broadstone  at  7.15.  I  drove  off  and 
dressed  at  the  Shelbourne  Hotel  and  on  to  a  Public  Dinner 
to  the  Irish  Hospital.  His  Excellency,  the  Lord  Chan- 
cellor, Attorney  General,  Lord  Iveagh  and  many  swells 
and  officials  were  present.  I  did  not  speak  till  twenty 
to  twelve,  and  then  luckily  made  quite  a  hit.  I  was  very 
thankful  as  I  feared  after  the  long  drives  and  pre-occupa- 
tion  in  economic  problems  and  long  railway  journey,  that 
my  brains  would  not  work.  I,  however,  followed  my  new 
prescription  for  oratory,  viz. :  to  sleep  like  a  log  all  the 
afternoon.  I  am  glad  I  did  not  '  jolly '  the  fence  which 
was  likely  with  such  a  take  off.  I  found  S.  S.  on  getting 
here  and  have  spent  the  morning  expatiating  on  the 


TO  HIS  BROTHER  5 

possibilities  of  the  garden.  We  dine  at  the  Vice-regal 
to-night.  I  am  your  own  son  on  these  occasions  and  all 
Ireland  knows  that  you  were  reared  at  Athlone  ! — Your 
most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

421 

To  his  Brother 

CHIEF  SECRETAHY'S  OFFICE, 
DUBLIN  CASTI.K,   Xor.ember  29th,  1900. 

DEAREST  OLD  GUY, — I  have  not  written  because  I 
have  been  in  the  dumps  at  your  not  coming  home  with 
Brock,  and  more  than  in  the  dumps  because  you  were 
not  made  2nd  in  Command. 

But  don't  mind.  These  things  happen.  When  they 
have  happened  to  me  they  have  generally  come  more 
than  right  in  the  end.  Never  fear  for  a  moment  that 
your  good  work  will  be  overlooked,  so  I  dare  to  hope  that 
you  will  be  given  some  adequate  reward  for  all  you  have 
done.  That  might  mean  a  few  years  in  England  instead 
of  South  Africa  and  no  delay  to  your  getting  the  command 
in  the  long  run.  But  I  did  hope  that  perhaps  you  would 
get  it  in  a  year  or  so  when  Bethune  went  back  to  the 
staff.  However ! 

Dear  old  Guy  you  can't  think  how  full  this  place  is  of 
memories.  I  would  give  anything  to  have  you  here  and 
to  go  off  hunting  together.  When  you  get  leave  you 
must  come  with  Minnie.  I  met  Grace  Malone  out  hunting 
the  other  day.  I  have  been  out  twice  *  jollying  '  over  the 
banks  and  trotting  back  twelve  miles  to  the  '  special.' 
I  have  two  horses  from  the  Captain  and  shall  be  able  to 
scrape  more  together.  It  simply  must  be,  and  I  hope. 
soon. 

My  work  is  cut  out  for  me  here  and  no  mistake.  Every- 
body was  up  on  end  and  T.  W.  Russell  has  gone  nap  on  a 
wild  compulsory  purchase  scheme. 

There  will  be  wigs  on  the  green.— Ever  your  most  loving 
brother,  GEORGE. 


LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 


422 
To  Charles  Boyd 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  OFFICE, 
DUBLIN  CASTLE,  S.xii.OO. 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — Your  letter  was  most  interesting 
and  very  welcome.  I  have  thrown  myself  into  this  show. 
But,  at  times,  the  twinge  of  separation  from  friends, 
from  home  life,  from  my  part  in  '  the  wide  world  dreaming 
upon  things  to  come,'  is  sharp  within  this  grey  and  circum- 
scribed horizon.  Yet  it  is  good  discipline  and  a  grand 
training.  I  have  my  province. 

Now  as  to  Glasgow — don't  come  !  I  have  rarely  been 
so  apprehensive.  It  is  too  late  to  talk  of  Military  Defence  ; 
too  early  to  talk  of  Ireland  ;  too  foolish  to  buck  about  the 
General  Election ;  too  rash  to  prophesy  that  we  shall 
justify  the  confidence  given  by  the  people  under  compulsion 
of  the  Opposition's  acephalous  futility. 

So  that  I  have  nothing  to  say.  And  no  man  says 
nothing  with  a  more  awkward  appreciation  of  inanity. 
I  only  wish  to  say  that  they  are  damned  fools  to  have  a 
meeting  at  such  a  juncture.  From  this  I  am  debarred 
in  my  capacity  as  guest. 

I  like  my  province.  It  can  be  governed  only  by  con- 
versation and  arbitrary  decisions.  To  be  an  affable  but 
inexorable  Haroun  al  Raschid  is  the  only  chance. — Yours 
ever,  GEORGE  W. 

423 

To  his  Mother 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  OFFICE, 
DUBLIN  CASTLE,  Christmas  Eve,  1900. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — This  is  to  wish  you  and 
dearest  Aunt  Emily  and  all  at  Hyeres  a  most  Merry 
Christmas  and  happy  New  Year. 

The  tutor  sounds  well  for  the  present  at  any  rate. 
But  Mr.  Perkins  must  work  more  than  two  hours  a  day. 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  7 

He  might  either  do  exercises  and  read  in  preparation  or 
else  master  the  French  language  with  a  French  tutor  in 
the  afternoons.  It  is  a  golden  opportunity  to  learn 
French  and  to  read  French  books.  I  hope  you  all  talk 
French  ! 

I  have  had  such  glowing  accounts  of  Guy  from  all  sides. 
His  General  Brock  told  me  he  had  told  Roberts  that 
Guy  would  be  wasted  on  a  regiment  and  ought  to  have  a 
brigade.  A  man — I  believe  Stewart,  but  I  don't  know 
him  or  his  name — introduced  himself  to  me  at  Willis' 
restaurant,  because  he  must  tell  me  about  Guy.  He  had 
commanded  a  colonial  mounted  regiment  attached  to 
Guy's  brigade.  He  said  Guy  had  done  everything  ;  was 
the  bravest  in  South  Africa ;  had  extricated  them  from 
many  tight  places ;  had  re-horsed  the  brigade  after 
Ladysmith  in  three  weeks  and  then  his  regiment  hi  seven 
days — was  a  head  and  shoulders  above  anyone  in  the 
Natal  Army,  etc.,  etc.,  till  I  nearly  sat  down  on  the  floor ! 

Kitchener  gives  much  better  account  of  the  war  than 
you  would  surmise  from  the  papers.  Mountains  of  love 
to  you. — Ever  your  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 


424 

To  his  Mother 

CHIKF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
PHCBNIX  PARK,  DUBLIN,  January  I5th,  1901. 

MOST  DARLING, — Thanks  for  your  letter.  I  agree  to 
all  that  you  and  Mr.  Lancaster  settle.  Thank  him  for 
his  letter.  Health  comes  first.  But  let  some  French  be 
acquired. 

I  am  delighted  but  not  surprised  at  dear  old  Guy's 
mention  in  despatches. 

I  am  off  to  Mount  Stewart  and  hope  there  to  find  time 
for  a  long  letter  of  all  my  doings. 

I  long  for  you  every  day.  You  must  come  in  August 
or  September.  Last  night  I  dined  at  Trinity  College. 
It  is  so  strange  to  be  the  honoured  guest  and  to  walk  up 


8  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

the  Hall  with  the  Provost  under  the  gauging  eyes  of  the 
undergraduates.  I  sat  next  the  Bursar,  Grey,  who 
remembers  as  a  boy  seeing  your  father  riding  about  at 
Athlone. 

I  am  enjoying  my  hunts  and  have  made  hosts  of  friends. 
The  Museum  will  enchant  you  and  remind  us  both  of 
Wake's  (?)  shop  and  OUT  early  prowls  after  fossils  and 
remains. 

I  am  quite  '  diddle '  over  some  parts  of  my  work.  If 
only  I  can  do  something  that  will  last.  I  enjoyed  the 
congested  District  Board  last  week.  I  was  in  the  Chair 
for  six  hours  on  Wednesday,  crossed  to  England  by 
night  and  went  to  dear  uncle  Henry's  funeral  Thursday  ; 
recrossed  that  night  and  took  the  chair  on  Friday.  I 
gave  them  a  grand  Friday  lunch — oysters,  '  Bisque ' 
soup,  soles  and  curried  lobster  which  Father  O'Hara 
enjoyed.  We  burrowed  away  at  plans  for  making  a  new 
Heaven  of  Mayo,  and  had  sly  digs  at  each  other  over  the 
meeting  I  had  proclaimed  near  his  parish. 

Now,  Darling,  I  must  be  off.  Best  love  to  you  and  all 
at  Hyeres. — Ever  your  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 


425 

To  his  Mother 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
March  3rd,  1901. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  am  afraid  that  you  have 
all  been  much  more  ill  than  I  supposed.  Is  little  Perf's 
4  irritability  of  the  heart '  a  result  of  4  la  Grippe  '  ?  I 
remember  that  it  affected  Arthur  Balfour's  heart  some 
years  ago.  I  hope  it  is  that  and  not  a  new  constitutional 
weakness. 

S.  S.  and  Leffie  go  out  to  you  on  the  7th.  I  propose, 
if  convenient,  to  come  directly  the  House  rises,  starting 
2nd,  3rd,  or  5th  of  April  as  the  case  may  be.  Then  I 
could  bring  Perf  back  with  me  about  the  llth  or  12th. 
But  in  that  we  must  be  guided  by  the  doctor. 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  9 

I  am  well  and  absorbed  in  difficult  Parliamentary 
gyrations  on  uncommonly  thin  ice  surrounded  by  suspicious 
friends  and  flattering  foes.  Without  Public  money  or 
Parliamentary  time  one  can  make  no  advance  in  Ireland 
so  Lord  Clanricarde's  skating  must  for  the  present  be  the 
model  of  my  policy — an  alternation  of  quick  turns  and 
quiescence. 

I  must  send  you  a  delightful  book,  the  story  of  Early 
Gaelic  literature,  by  Douglas  Hyde.  A  pre-christian 
dialogue  between  Cairbre  and  Cormac,  grandson  of  Con 
of  the  Hundred  Battles,  gives  the  truest  and  fullest 
instruction  for  the  government  of  Ireland.  Cairbre  asks 
4  for  what  qualifications  is  a  King  elected  over  countries 
and  tribes  of  people  ?  '  Cormac  answers  : — '  From  the 
goodness  of  his  family,  from  his  experience  and  wisdom, 
from  his  prudence  and  magnanimity,  from  his  eloquence, 
and  bravery  in  battle,  and  from  the  number  of  his  friends.' 
Cairbre  goes  on — '  O,  descendant  of  Con,  what  was  thy 
deportment  when  a  youth  ?  '  Cormac  answers,  '  I  was 
cheerful  at  the  banquet,  fierce  in  battle,  but  vigilant  and 
circumspect.  I  was  kind  to  friends,  a  physician  to  the 
sick,  merciful  towards  the  weak,  stern  towards  the  head- 
strong. Although  possessed  of  knowledge  I  was  inclined 
to  taciturnity.  Although  strong  I  was  not  haughty. 
I  mocked  not  the  old,  although  I  was  young.  I  was  not 
vain,  although  I  was  valiant.  When  I  spoke  of  a  person 
in  his  absence  I  praised,  not  defamed  him,  for  it  is  by 
these  customs  that  we  are  known  to  be  courteous  and 
civilized.'  Later  he  enjoins,  '  Be  not  slothful,  nor 
passionate,  nor  pernicious,  nor  idle,  nor  jealous,  for  he 
who  is  so  is  an  object  of  hatred  to  God  as  well  as  to  man.' 

I  do  hope,  darling,  that  you  are  really  better. 

The  Exhibition  of  the  '  British  School '  at  Burlington 
House  is  the  best  we  have  had  for  years  :  all  the  beau- 
tiful Masons  and  most  of  the  Fred  Walkers.  Mason's 
4  Pastoral ' — boy  piping  to  two  girls  who  dance,  with 
sea  in  distance — and  Walker's  '  Boys  Bathing  '  and  his 
'  Plough  '  were  sights  for  sore  eyes  loved  long  since  and 
lost  awhile.  Also  there  are  three  water-colours  by  Walker, 


10  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

new  to  me  and  miraculous.  Also  two  water-colours  by 
Boyse  very  good.  Some  good  early  Millais,  dear  B.  J.'s 
St.  Dorothy ;  some  Rossetti  and  Dyce  and  not  too  much 
of  anything.  But  the  Masons  and  Walkers  sing  out — 
'  Non  moriar  sed  vivam  et  narrabo  opera  Domini.'  '  I 
shall  not  die,  but  live,  and  I  will  declare  the  works  of  the 
Lord.'  That  is  the  artist's  true  profession  of  immortality. 
I  suggested  it  to  Fisher  for  a  '  plaque  '  on  his  shrine  which 
I  have  given  to  Sibell.  For  the  porphyry  sarcophagus 
I  composed  by  selection  from  Queen  Elizabeth's  latin 
Prayer  Book  of  1574  the  following,  putting  together  a 
bit  of  the  Creed  /  bit  of  Easter  preface  /  and  bit  of  Psalm 
for  Easter/.  As  thus  : — 

Passus  et  sepultus  est  et  resurrexit  tertia  die 

Qui  mortem  moriendo  destruxit  et  resurgendo  Vitam 

jEternam  nobis  reparavit 
A  Domino  factum  est  istud  et  id  mirabile  est  in  oculis  nostris. 

He  sufferred  and  was  buried  and  rose  again  on  the  third  day 
Who  by  dying  destroyed  death  and  by  rising  restored  to  us 

eternal  life 
This  was  of  the  Lord's  doing  and  it  was  wonderful  in  our  eyes. 

Best  love  to  Papa,  Ditch,  and  poor  Bun  and  to  dearest 
Aunt  Emily  and  all  at  Hyeres. — Ever  your  most  loving 
son,  GEORGE. 

426 
To  his  Father 

HOUSE  OF  COMMONS, 
March  29th,  1901. 

MY  DEAEEST  PAPA, — Many  thanks  for  your  letter. 
I  will  not  forget  the  cigars.  I  propose  starting  Wednesday 
morning  and  being  with  you  for  *  Dejeuner  '  on  Thursday. 

We  have  had  plenty  of  Irish  obstruction — quite  in  the 
old  style.  And  (since  we  were  being  driven  on  to  the 
brink  of  the  financial  year)  the  twelve  o'clock  rule  has 
been  in  chronic  suspense.  In  short,  we  never  go  to  bed 
till  two  or  three  and  pretty  often  not  until  five  or  six 
o'clock. 


TO  HIS  FATHER  11 

The  London  Papers  *  boycot '  Irish  questions  and 
debates.  I  have  had  from  twenty  to  thirty-six  questions 
every  day  and  two  or  three  supplementaries  to  each. 
But  I  keep  wonderfully  well  and  enclose  a  tribute  (news- 
paper cutting)  to  my  physical  endurance. 

It  is  freezing  hard  with  occasional  blizzards.  You  will 
triumph  when  I  tell  you  that  I  explain  my  survival  solely 
by  the  fact  that  I  now  wear  long  woollen  drawers.  They 
have  doubled  my  vitality. 

Best  love  to  all. — Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 


427 

To  his  Father 

35  PARK  LANE, 

April  20th,  1901. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  am  delighted  at  Guy's  brevet 
Lieutenant  Colonel.  This  is  the  best  he  could  have  got ; 
far  better  professionally  than  a  D.S.O. 

If  you  analyse  the  list  of  brevet  Lieutenant  Colonels, 
you  will  see  that  there  are  only  fifteen  in  all  for  the  Cavalry. 
Of  these  many  are  given  to  officers  already  temporary 
Lt.  Colonels,  that  is  to  say,  who  are  really  commanding 
their  regiments  in  South  Africa.  And  three  are  to  the 
Life-Guards,  Carter,  Bingham,  Grenfell. 

If  you  omit  Life-Guards  and  Dragoons  who  are  rather 
apart  and  take  the  Hussars  and  Lancers,  the  whole  list 
is  : — 

Byng  -VVV '  .  10th  Hussars. 

*Haig  .  .  .  7th  Hussars. 

Nicholson  r  •  V  7th  Hussars. 

*Lawrence  .'./•»;  '' •*  17th  Lancers. 

Peyton  .  w<r  15th  Hussars. 

*Guy  .  .  .  16th  Lancers, 
or  six  in  all. 

What  pleases  me  most  is  that  Haig  and  Lawrence, 
whom  I  have  marked,  are  pre-eminently  the  'fancy' 


12  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

cracks  in  the  first-flight  according  to  War  Office  views 
and  general  reputation  throughout  the  service,  so  that 
dear  old  Guy  at  last  gets  the  official  stamp  on  the  place 
which  he  has  hardly  won  and  earned  well  in  the  '  first- 
flight.' 

To  be  one  of  six  out  of  all  the  light  cavalry  in  an  Honours 
Gazette  is  a  real  distinction  which  marks  the  dear  fellow 
for  future  employment  and  promotion.  Note  also  that 
this  Gazette  is  for  services  before  the  29th  November  last, 
1900,  and  that  his  rank  dates  from  that  day. 

I  am  hugely  delighted.  Love  to  darling  Mamma  and 
Perf  and  Ditch. — Your  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

428 

To  his  Mother 

May  23rd,  1901. 

DARLING, — This  anonymous  letter  will  amuse  you. — 
Ever  your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

*  "  Their   language  was  an    heirloom  of   the    Irish." 
Bravo  !  bravo  !  !  bravo  ! ! ! 

*  Thank  God  we  have  a  gentleman  as  Chief  Secretary 
for  Ireland.     All  difficulties  in  the  way  of  English  dominion 
will  disappear  if  dealt  with  in  a  similar  spirit. 

*  More  power  to  ye.' 

'  Couldn't  you  give  Sir  Alfred  Milner  a  hint ' 

429 

To  his  Father 

LATIMER, 
CHESHAM,  June  4th,  1901. 

DEAREST  PAPA, — I  gather  that  Minnie  starts  from  South 
Africa  to-day  or  to-morrow  and  will  arrive,  I  suppose, 
about  21st  or  22nd. 

I  return  for  House  on  Thursday  and,  if  I  have  time, 
will  look  in  for  luncheon. 

I  had  a  grand  trip  in  the  Granuaile  to  Clare  Island, 
Killary  Bay  and  the  Arran  Isles.  The  pre-historic  fort 


TO  HIS  BROTHER  13 

of  Dun  Angus  on  a  sheer  precipice  down  into  the  Atlantic- 
is  one  of  the  best  things  I  have  seen.  The  other  chief 
point  of  interest  consisted  in  the  choughs  on  these  islands. 
They  are  delightful  birds,  very  graceful  in  their  flight  and 
when  running.  It  is  amusing  to  see  their  red  legs  tucked 
under  them  when  overhead. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

430 

To  his  Brother 

LATIMKK, 
CHKSHAM,  June  (Mh,  1901. 

MY  DEAREST  OLD  GUY, — Have  just  heard  of  your 
appointment  to  column  on  9th  May.  Am  too  sorry  for 
you  and  Minnie  but  overjoyed  that,  at  last,  they  are 
letting  you  come  4  through  your  horses.'  I  do  feel  deeply 
for  you  and  Minnie.  But  now  is  the  time  to  sit  down 
and  ride.  I  never  like  interfering  with  advice  from  a 
distance  but,  if  darling  Minnie  has  started,  it  will  console 
you,  if  she  has  not,  it  may  help  to  decide  you  to  know 
confidentially  that  K.  is  beginning  to  refer  in  his  telegrams 
to  the  difficulties  of  making  proper  arrangements  for  the 
Plague  and  to  insist  that  wives  of  officers  not  in  permanent 
garrison  should  be  induced  to  go  home.  I  ought  to  tell 
you  this  as  '  the  stable-key  often  decides  the  trial,'  and 
K.  is  a  thorough-going  sort  of  cuss,  who  might — other 
things  being  equal — give  a  command  to  the  man  whose 
wife  was  at  home.  But,  dear  old  boy,  I  do  feel  for  you 
and  miss  you  very  much.  I  am  told  that  Douglas  Haig 
is  to  command  the  17th — not  officially  but  on  good 
authority.  D.  H.  is  in  Cape  Colony  with  a  column, 
there  are  ructions  there  ;  French  has  gone  there.  With 
luck  this  should  mean  that  you  will  be  left  in  Command 
and  I  hope  with  an  increased  command.  Now  is  the  time 
for  those  who  have  stuck  it  out  to  reap  their  reward  and 
— what  is  far  more — to  do  the  job.  I  dreamt  last  night 
that  you  got  another  brevet  and  the  D.S.O.  and  this 
morning  I  have  the  good  news  of  your  appointment. 

I  have  had  a  hard  session  and  an  interesting  Whitsun. 


14  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

There  was  a  row  on  the  Dillon  Estate  purchased  by 
Congested  Districts  Board,  so  I  went  off  to  Ballaghaderreeii 
to  settle  it,  the  moment  the  House  rose.  The  '  Freeman  ' 
beat  up  an  opposition  to  me  and  two  agitator  M.P.'s 
— O'Donnell  and  Cullinan — went  to  hold  a  rival  meeting 
at  same  time  and  place.  All,  however,  went  off  well. 
Their  meeting  was  damped  by  the  rain  and  I  remained 
in  possession  of  the  field.  After  that  I  went  to  Westport 
embarked  on  the  Granuaile  and  visited  Clare  Island  and 
the  Arran  Isles  ;  got  caught  in  a  gale  off  Slyne  Head  but 
enjoyed  myself  and  did  a  good  stroke  of  business.  House 
meets  to-morrow  and  I  expect  a  stiffish  two  months  of 
it.  But  I  'm  still  in  the  saddle  and  got  a  letter  yesterday 
from  a  Nationalist  telling  me  to  stick  to  it  and  not  mind 
the  agitators.  Nor  do  I. 

But  all  this  is  skittles  to  the  terrible  grind  you  have 
had.  K.'s  news  is,  on  the  whole,  encouraging.  I  believe 
you  will  finish  the  war  by  September.  If  not,  I  expect 
that  we  shall  begin  again  and  give  you  all  a  richly  earned 
holiday.  But  I  long  for  you  and  the  others  who  have 
done  all  the  work  to  reap  all  the  rewards.  I  have  no 
doubt  but  that  you  and  the  other  few  who  have  seen  it 
all  will  get  what  is  going.  Every  time  a  general  comes 
back  I  throw  up  my  hat  and  feel  you  are  nearer  the  top 
and  nearer — which  as  I  said  is  far  more  important — nearer, 
the  work  you  are  fitted  to  do.  So  buck  up  and  ride  the 
Hell  of  a  finish  !  All  your  recent  staff  work  and  this 
command  is  since  November  from  which  your  brevet 
dates.  It  is  a  separate  campaign  in  which  you  start  as 
a  Lieutenant-Colonel  with  a  command. 

God  bless  you  dear  old  Boy. — Ever  your  most  loving 
brother,  GEORGE. 

431 

To  his  Brother 

June  15th,  1901. 

DEAREST  OLD  GUY, — Heartiest  congratulations !  The 
papers  say  you  marched  40  miles  by  night  and  jumped 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  15 

some  Boers.  The  *  Times '  mentioned  you  in  its  leader. 
You  must  have  done  it  just  at  the  time  when  I  was  think- 
ing of  you. 

Well,  more  power  to  your  elbow  ! — Your  loving  brother, 

GEORGE. 

432 

To  his  Mother 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  OFFICE, 
DUBLIN  CASTLE,  August  8th,  1901. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  loved  your  letter  and  will 
certainly  call  on  Amelia  Ireland  with  Sibell.  I  got  through 
this  session  with  less  reaction  and  '  de'soeuvrement '  than 
ever  before.  I  must  be  stronger  than  I  used  to  be. 

Now  we  are  having  a  regular  old-fashioned  summer 
holiday  time  framed  on  the  model  of  my  earlier  exploits. 
Perf  is  better  than  for  years  and  has  constituted  himself 
master  of  the  ceremonies.  He  knows  all  the  polo,  cricket, 
racing  and  theatrical  fixtures  and  takes  care  that  the 
Chief  Secretary  shall  make  a  creditable  public  appear- 
ance wherever  the  4  Fancy  '  and  '  le  Sport '  are  gathered 
together. 

The  day  presents  a  wonderful  blend  of  all  the  family^ 
proclivities.  At  8.30  I  read  prayers  to  Sibell,  the  cook, 
and  the  butler.  At  8.40  I  ride — '  harsing  in  the  Phanix ' 
with  Perf  and  Tony  Shaftesbury.  Perf  was  very  keen 
to  ride  and  organised  it  for  the  first  day,  last  Thursday. 
His  nerve  has  quite  come  back  and  he  goes  full  gallop 
for  an  hour  every  day  with  his  Papa  trotting  and  cantering 
a  quarter  of  a  mile  behind.  At  9.45  he  eats  voraciously. 

After  my  breakfast,  I  have  up  the  Under-Secretary,  or 
Vice-President  of  Local  Government  Board,  etc.,  etc., 
and  put  in  two  or  three  hours  of  easy-going  work.  Then 
Percy  takes  me  to  cricket-matches,  polo,  Leopardstown, 
etc.,  etc.  And  we  wind  up  with  frantic  lawn-tennis  till 
7.30.  Dinner  at  eight.  Perf  to  bed  at  9.30.  Then  music 
as  a  rule  till  12  o'clock. 

We  have  had  really  good  music — Gatty  playing  accom- 


16  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

paniments ;  Tony  Shaftesbury  singing  and  Ian  Malcolm 
working  in  an  '  obligato  '  on  the  violin.  Last  night  they 
4  swept  the  floor  '  with  the  *  Two  Grenadiers.'  We  have 
had  a  poet,  too,  called  O'Connor  and  have  debauched  over 
the  Museum.  The  latest  theory  by  a  man  called  Ridge- 
way — admirably  reviewed  in  4  Quarterly '  of,  I  think, 
July — fits  in  with  the  long  bronze  swords  here  and  is 
most  exciting. 

Also — as  Fraulein  says — we  are  contriving  a  large 
block  of  Public  Buildings.  I  fly  about  with  all  my 
secretaries,  Chairman  of  Board  of  Works  etc.,  etc. 

Gatty — who  was  operated  on,  most  successfully  for 
carbuncle — (It  is  only  here  that  such  things  happen  in 
one's  house) — and  O'Connor  left  to-day.  There  remain 
darling  Cuckoo  and  Tony,  Hilda  and  Charlie  Southampton, 
Cecil  Parker  and  his  daughter,  Malcolm,  Captain  Daven- 
port. That  is  my  Horse-show  party.  I  have  lots  of 
transport — sociable  and  pair,  brougham,  and  two  cars 
at  two  guineas  a  day.  So  we  appear  everywhere  at  all 
hours.  To-day  we  rode,  saw  a  Field-day ;  did  the  Rich- 
mond Hospital — speaking  to  every  patient,  and  neglecting 
not  even  the  kitchen,  scullery  and  laundry.  Then  on 
to  Horse-show ;  in  the  ring  with  the  judges  (Parker 
*and  Southampton  are  judging) ;  Back  for  polo.  Perf, 
as  usual  was  half  an  hour  ahead  of  me  and  when  I  reached 
the  ground  I  found  him  in  the  member's  stand — a  little 
intent  silhouette  with  hat  well  on  the  back  of  its  head. 
He  paved  the  way  for  entry  by  introducing  us  to  the 
secretary.  You  and  Papa  would  enjoy  seeing  him.  He 
goes  everywhere  with  absolute  composure  and  uncon- 
sciousness and  everybody  is  enjoying  him.  He  dined — 
for  once — at  a  full-fig  stars  and  garters  Vice-Regal 
Dinner  by  special  command.  They  all  say  he  is  just 
like  you. 

After  that  we  played  tennis.  Perf  and  Malcolm  against 
Tony  and  self.  He  plays  quite  well. 

Cuckoo  and  Tony  are  regular  Paddies  too.  It  turns 
out  that  Tony,  through  his  mother — a  Chichester — owns 
150,000  acres  in  Donegal.  He  and  Cuckoo  have  been 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  17 

dining  and  lunching  the  whole  oi  the  country-side  in 
Inish-owen.  On  next  Saturday  they  carry  me  off  captive 
to  their  '  bow  and  spear  '  to  Moville  on  Loch  Foyle. 

Malcolm,  Hanson,  Willeby  the  musician — with  piano 
let  down  into  the  S.S.  Granuaile,  and  violin — and  Green 
the  Fishery  Inspector — join  that  good  ship  at  Derry  on 
Sunday.  Monday,  we  have  deputations  and  speeches 
and  guarantee  prosperity  to  the  entire  peninsular  of 
Inish-owen.  Then  we  work  round  the  West  coast,  with 
Perf,  right  down  to  Kenmare  River. 

It  is  a  grand  campaign.  I  have  '  laid  on  '  Glasgow 
manufacturers,  Quarry-owners,  County-Councils,  Mag- 
nates etc.,  etc.,  all  the  way  round ;  I  have  worked  in 
short  visits  to  Mrs.  Adair,  Dunraven,  Lansdowne,  Sir 
John  Colomb  and  Lady  Kenmare.  Sibell  joins  us  South 
by  train. 

Meanwhile  all  my  Departments  are  working  in  lines 
I  have  laid  down  to  collect  every  proposal — whether  for 
railways,  harbours,  or  arterial  drainage,  and  we  shall 
together  beat  out  a  policy  on  my  return. 

I  cross  to  England  with  Percy  for  Eton  on  18th,  and 
then  will  come  to  you  perhaps  with  Sibell,  shoot  the 
following  Tuesday  and  Wednesday  as  arranged,  and  return 
here  Thursday  26th  to  work  at  my  Land  Bill. 

To-morrow  I  have  a  Congested  District  Board  at  9.45 
a.m.  and  at  1.30  we  all  go  in  pomp  with  His  Excellency, 
Lancer  escort  etc.,  etc.,  to  the  Horse  Show.  x 

Thursday,  we  celebrate  my  birthday  and  Cuckoo's — 
an  old  custom — and  Tony's  and  have  a  banquet  here  of 
all  the  Heads  of  Departments — Sir  David  Harrell,  Under 
Secretary,  Colonel  Ross  of  the  Dublin  Police,  Neville 
Chamberlain  of  the  R.I.C.,  the  Attorney  General,  General 
Gossett,  commanding  Dublin  District,  etc.,  etc.,  about 
26  of  us  in  all. 

What  with  Horse-show,  Cricket,  Polo,  Racing,  Hospitals, 
Congested  Districts,  Lawn-tennis,  Croquet,  Billiards,  and 
Ping-Pong  we  manage  to  '  keep  the  Tambourine  a  rowlin.' 

Love  to  Papa,  Ditch  and  all. — Your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

VOL.  II.  B 


18  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

433 

To  his  Mother 

GREENCASTLE, 
LOCH  FOYLE,  September  2,  1901. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — The  Butterfly  was  too  beautiful. 
He  has  4  some  taste  of  immortality  in  him.' 

And  so  has  this  spot.  ...  I  must  bring  you  here  some- 
how to  see  it — anyhow  I  pretend  that  we  shall  be  here 
on  such  a  sky-blue,  sea-blue,  grass-green,  sun-shimmering 
day  next  year  after  the  Horse-show  for  which  I  have 
booked  you,  Papa  and  Ditchmouse. 

I  am  sitting  on  a  deep-piled  grass  terrace  fifteen  yards 
wide,  then  a  foot  wall ;  the  tops  of  two  wild  fuschia  clumps 
and.  some  rocks  showing  above  it.  Beyond,  the  narrow 
entry  to  Loch  Foyle  blue  and  vitreus  as  the  Butterfly, 
stretches  between  me  and  the  low  sandy  flat  of  Magilligan's 
Point  opposite.  Behind  that  rises  a  transparency  of  green 
fields,  purple  moorlands  and  Basalt  scars.  To  the  right 
the  loch  sweeps  and  broadens  out  and  narrows  again 
eighteen  miles  off  to  Deny.  To  the  left  is  the  Atlantic, 
the  dun  headland  of  the  Giant's  Causeway  and  most 
faint  in  the  summer  haze  Islay,  the  Paps  of  Jura,  Rathlin 
Island  and — yesterday — but  to-day  lost  in  the  haze,  the 
Mull  of  Kintyre.  Behind  this  manor  house  a  little  sea, 
wood  of  Scotch  firs  and  sycamores,  and  rocks  fifty  feet 
high  shut  it  in  with  a  wonderful  garden  blazing  with 
summer  holiday  flowers  between  pergola  walls  and  fuchsia 
hedges.  Three  hundred  yards  off  is  the  huge  ruin  of 
Greencastle,  built  by  de  Burgo. 

At  12  noon  I  receive  a  large  deputation  to  talk  over  a 
steam-ferry  from  here  to  Magilligan's  Point. 

We  steamed  here  from  Deny  Saturday  afternoon. 
Yesterday  we  steamed  to  Giant's  Causeway  and  back 
by  the  Skerries,  Dunluce  Castle,  Port  Rush  and  Stewart, 
down  to  Moville.  Thence  we  drove  on  a  car  to  a  bay 
more  to  the  West  and  walked  back  over  the  mountain. 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  19 

From  the  col  we  could  see  the  sea  behind  us  and  the 
loch  in  front — a  breathless  view. 

After  the  deputation  we  start  to  round  Malin  Head  and 
anchor  to-night  in  Sheep  Haven  and  go  on  right  round  to 
Kenmare  and  Killarney. 

'  How  fresh  was  every  sight  and  sound 

On  open  sea  and  winding  shore, 

We  knew  the  merry  earth  was  round 

And  we  could  sail  for  evermore.' 

I  prepared  for  this  trip  by  getting  out  an  indexed 
abstract  of  every  public  work  for  which  anybody  has 
ever  asked. 

I  have  this  on  my  lap  with  a  good  map  on  which  they 
are  all  marked.  Then  I  sail  round  and  see  the  places 
and  the  people  so  as  to  select  those  which  are  most 
urgent  and  likely  to  work  in  best  for  both  developing 
fishing  and,  also,  for  giving  transit  facilities  to  the  small 
congested  farms  and,  also,  for  working  in  new  industries 
with  Morton. 

Our  party  consists  of  Hanson,  Malcolm,  Percy,  Willeby 
the  musician,  and  Green,  a  delightful  Fishery  Inspector 
who  knows  all  about  fishes  and  all  about  the  legendary 
and  historic  personalities  whose  great  names  haunt  these 
highlands  and  islands — De  Burgo,  O'Doherty,  Shane 
O'Neil,  Sorey  Boyle,  McDonnell,  Sir  Francis  Drake,  the 
McCahan  and  so  on  to  the  country  of  Granuaile  and  the 
ferocious  O'Flahertys. 

I  wish  I  were  an  Emperor  to  do  exactly  what  I  please 
for  the  people  here.  But  something  somehow  shall  be 
done. 

You  can  easily  see  this  particular  problem  from  the 
map.  The  whole  peninsula  of  Inish-owen  is  congested 
and  the  northern  part  here  twenty  miles  of  carting  away 
from  Derry.  We  have  made  a  railway  to  Carndonagh 
but  the  high  mountains  prevent  it  from  helping  the 
thick  fringe  of  population  on  this  the  eastern  side  of 
Inish-owen. 

Tony  Shaftesbury,  as  descendant  through  his  mother 


20  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

from  Sir  Arthur  Chichester  to  whom  the  whole  country 
was  given  in  1612,  is  head  landlord  of  150,000  acres  about 
here,  and  he  and  dear  Cuckoo  mean  to  do  all  they  can — 
hence  my  presence  and  the  deputation.  But,  as  ever, 
there  are  difficulties  and  jealousies — mail  contracts  to 
Deny,  rival  railway  companies  and  behind  all  the  grim 
Treasury.  What  of  it  ?  Something  shall  be  done. 
Best  love  to  all. — Your  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 


434 

To  his  Mother 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGED 
September  15th,  1901. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  got  your  letter  and  Guy's 
three  on  return  here  last  night.  You  must  not  be  down- 
cast about  Guy.  He  is  having  very  hard  work.  But 
it  is  a  mistake  to  take  one  sentence  out  of  a  letter — the 
feeding  being  a  strain — and  to  base  a  view  on  that.  The 
letters  show  that  he  is  really  fit  and  keen.  Minnie  and 
you  attached  far  too  much  importance  to  the  *  Times  ' 
Correspondent.  That  letter  referred,  not  to  these  of 
Guy  written  llth,  14th  and  17th  of  August,  but  to  the 
letters  of  which  you  sent  me  copies  describing  the  Camdeboo 
mountain  trek  of  a  fortnight  or  more  earlier.  French 
gets  Guy's  reports  not  the  correspondent's  twaddle 
written  after  it  is  all  over  from  the  top  of  a  mountain 
commanding  a  view  of  the  whole  country  from  which 
the  enemy  has  been  shifted. 

The  best  plan  is  to  note  only  what  Kitchener  reports. 
4  No  change  in  the  situation  '  means  that  Guy  is  still 
pursuing  Smit.  And  now  and  again,  Guy's  name  is 
mentioned.  He,  for  example,  came  up  with  Smit  on 
August  30th  and  inflicted  some  loss  on  that  commando. 

A  coup  such  as  ScobelPs  would  be  pleasant  reading  and 
Guy  will,  with  a  little  luck,  pull  one  off  soon.  But  it  is 
no  use  to  fret  over  the  hitches  and  disappointments  of 
war.  It  is  made  up  of  them  until  the  moment  comes. 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  21 

I  have  had  a  most  interesting  sail  round  the  west  of 
Ireland  from  Giant's  Causeway  to  Dunmanus  Bay,  back 
to  Kenmare  River  and  up  to  Drumquinna,  winding  up 
with  a  miraculous  drive  through  Windy  Gap  down  on  to 
Muckross  and  Killarney. 

Percy  has  thriven  on  it.  He  was  very  plucky  when 
the  gale  blew  and  stuck  it  out  on  the  bridge  with  me  in 
oilskins  like  two  canaries  under  a  water-spout. 

Itinerary  Saturday,  August  31st.  To  Deny  by  *  Granuaile ' 
to  Greencastle. 

Sunday,  September  1st.  Out  West  to  Giant's  Causeway 
and  back  to  Greencastle. 

September  2nd.  Deputation  and  steamed,  stopping  at 
Malin  Head  to  Sheep  Haven.  A  perfect  summer  day 
and  golden  sunset  bathing  Tory  Island. 

September  3rd.  Drove  from  Port-na-blagh,  near  Dun- 
fanaghy  to  Glenveagh — Mrs.  Adair's  deer  forest ;  had 
talk  with  contractor  of  the  new  railway. 

September  4th.  Started  7.30  a.m.  and  drove  by  moun- 
tains Muckish  and  Errigall,  past  Gweedore  to  Bunbeg. 
Thence  sailed  in  boat  through  the  Island,  to  the  ship. 
Called  at  Gort-na-Sate  and  anchored  at  Port  Noo  some 
way  out  to  sea.  Sailed  back  to  the  ship  into  an  after-glow 
of  Japanese  reds  and  old  golds.  The  wind  sending  us 
nine  knots.  Wonderful. 

September  5th.  On  to  Kilcar,  and  on  to  Killybegs. 
Steamed  across  Sligo  bay  and  by  night  round  the  Mullet 
to  anchor  in  morning  at  Black  Rock  point.  It  was  very 
rough — a  gale. 

September  6th.  Landed  at  granite  quarries — trawled  in 
the  bay  and  then  round  Achill  Head.  It  blew  a  gale  and 
the  '  glory  and  glee  '  ot  the  storm  were  an  ecstacy.  Achill 
falls  sheer  two  thousand  feet  into  the  sea.  The  whole 
surface  of  the  Atlantic  was  a  weaving  haze  of  spin-drift 
from  the  wind.  The  great  rollers  hit  the  cliff  and  roared 
and  spouted  up  two  hundred  feet. 

Percy  had  gone  below  sick.  But  I  carried  him  up  on 
to  the  bridge  in  his  oilskins  and  he  began  to  exult  in  it. 
We  went  from  Achill  past  Clare  Island.  A  sun-burst 


22  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

in  the  storm  threw  a  rainbow  over  Achill.  It  was  one 
of  the  best  moments  in  my  life — holding  Percy  to  the 
rails  with  my  arms  and  l  galumphing '  over  the  rollers. 
We  could  not  trust  Cleggan  Harbour,  so  put  into  Bally- 
nakill,  as  there  was  daylight  to  thread  the  maze  of  islands. 
Then  the  sky  cleared  and  we  watched  a  divine  sunset 
on  the  twelve  pins  of  Connemara  and  Percy  shot  at  bottles 
and  caught  dog-fish. 

I  have  forgotten  to  say  that  when  coming  South  along 
the  Mullet  we  steamed  for  an  hour  at  night  through 
mackerel.  The  sea  was  full  of  phosphorus.  The  shoals 
of  fish  were  like  breakers  of  blue  light  and,  as  the  prow 
overtook  them,  these  light  waves  particularized  themselves 
into  ghostly  fishes  bursting  away  into  bouquets  of  blue 
rockets. 

September  7th.  Steamed  to  Cleggan — Deputation.  And 
then,  hardening  our  hearts,  we  doubled  Slyne  Head  and 
made  Roundstone.  That  was  the  day  of  real  storm.  It 
was  past  all  *  whooping.'  We  all  kept  going  on  the  bridge 
in  oil-skins  and  singing  at  the  top  of  our  voices.  We 
were  determined  not  to  be  beat  by  the  weather ;  and 
yelled  at  Slyne  Head  as  we  swooped  and  staggered  past  it. 
*  If  you  want  to  know  who  we  are,  we  're  gentlemen  from 
Japan  '  etc.,  etc.  After  that  one  by  one  Willeby  and 
Hanson  and  Malcolm  gave  up  and  went  below.  But 
Percy  stood  by.  At  Roundstone  we  landed  and  found  the 
whole  place  gay  with  bunting.  There,  with  flags  and 
cheers,  I  had  a  capital  meeting. 

The  glass  kept  falling  and  wind  getting  more  to  the 
west,  so  there  was  no  chance  of  getting  into  a  natural 
harbour. 

We  were  due  at  Liscannor  Harbour,  Co.  Clare  at  4  p.m. 
the  next  day.  So  we  hardened  our  hearts  again  and 
went  plumb  for  the  wind's  eye  to  get  shelter  under  the 
lee  of  the  Aran  Isles.  The  wind  roared  and  the  rain  hit 
our  eyes  like  redhot  pellets.  Nobody  but  Percy  stayed 
on  the  bridge  with  me.  At  Aran  we  could  not  land  ; 
so  rode  it  out  on  two  anchors  with  very  fair  shelter. 

September  8th.     We  decided  it  would  be  impossible  to 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  23 

land  at  Liscannor  so  steamed  before  the  wind  to  Olenina 
near  Ballyvaghan  on  the  north  coast  of  Clare  and  drove 
twenty  miles  past  Killfenora  to  Liscannor. 

There  we  found  one  thousand  persons  and  had  a  great 
time — Speeches,  an  aldermanic  Belshazzar  with  the  Priest 
and  then  on  to  Lahinch  where  we  did  two  more  deputations 
and  supped  at  ten  o'clock. 

September  9th.  Got  up  at  five  and  took  the  6  o'clock 
train  to  Kilrush.  Sailed  from  there  to  the  steamer  and 
on  to  the  Fenit  River  in  Tralee  Bay. 

After  that  a  wonderful  afternoon  and  evening  of  coast 
scenery  and  sunset.  Past  Brandon  Head,  three  thousand 
feet,  Ballydavid,  the  Three  Sisters  and  Sybil  Head.  And 
so  through  the  Blaskets  to  Valencia. 

I  longed  for  you  to  be  there.  The  Atlantic  was  blue 
with  a  heavy  swell,  the  headlands  changed  from  peach- 
blossom  to  heliotrope,  from  heliotrope  to  cyclamen  from 
cyclamen  to  violets,  from  violets  to  mysteries  of  green  and 
deep  purple.  The  sun  sank  like  a  Japanese  lantern. 
The  Blaskets  and  Skelligs  became  transparent,  obsidian 
and  serpentine.  Well !  Well !  It  can  only  be  seen. 

September  IQth.  Sibell  and  Lady  Castlerosse  joined  us 
by  the  Valentia  railway.  We  took  them  out  to  the 
Skelligs  but  could  not  land.  The  great  Skellig  is  a 
promenade  seven  hundred  feet  high  sheer  out  of  the 
Atlantic  with  its  ruins  of  a  fifth  century  monastery.  The 
small  Skellig  is  the  home  and  breeding  ground  of  all  the 
Gannets. 

September  Ilth.    Steamed  to  Bear  Haven  and  on  to 
Dorneen  in  Dunmanus  Bay  and  back  through  Dursey's 
sound — where    Murty    O'Sullivan    slipped    the    frigate— 
to  Parknasilla. 

September  I2th.  Landed  at  Garinish,  Derreen  and 
Drumquinna. 

September  13th.    Drove  over  the  mountain  to  Killarney. 

I  will  tell  you  all  about  it  on  Saturday  when  I  come  to 
Clouds. — Your  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 


24  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

435 

To  his  Mother 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
PHCENIX  PARK,  DUBLIN,  October  3rd,  1901. 

MOST  DARLING,— Here  is  the  letter.  I  am  having  a 
steady  pull  at  creative  work  :  have  finished  30  pages  of 
quarto  on  Fisheries ;  detailed  orders  to  Police  in  respect 
of  agitation,  and  am  now  up  to  my  neck  in  a  Land  Bill. 
I  like  that  kind  of  *  firsthand  '  work  best  but  it  takes  it 
out  of  one.  Still  I  must  get  it  all  in  print  within  the 
next  ten  days.  Then  I  go  West  to  stay  with  the  O'Conor 
Don  :  do  a  couple  of  speeches  in  England,  and  then 
'  sit  down  to  ride '  on  the  detailed  application  of  created 
wholes.  (Fish :  Police  :  Land  :)  Even  if  I  succeed  in 
accomplishing  little,  ideas  are  immortal.  They  impregnate 
the  others  and  ultimately  assert  themselves  over  the 
general  inertia  of  the  world. 

But  I  believe  I  shall  win  on  Fisheries  and  '  law  and 
order '  and  go  nearer  winning  on  Land  than  I  really 
thought  possible  a  year  ago. 

How  hard  dear  old  Guy  is  working.  There  is  a  sense  of 
serenity  about  work  which  is  beyond  recompense  and  even 
beyond  intelligent  appreciation  by  the  Powers. — Your 
most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

436 
To  his  Mother 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
PH<ENIX  PARK,  DUBLIN,  November  8th,  1901. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — Many  thanks  for  dear  old 
Guy's  letter. 

The  work  is  terribly  hard  and  the  newspapers  at  home 
destitute  of  imagination,  common  sense  and  dignity. 

But  '  it  really  doesn't  matter  ! '  Good  work  well  done 
is  complete  in  itself  apart  from  results  and,  all  the  more, 
apart  from  recognition.  . 


TO  HIS  BROTHER  25 

I  squibbed  over  to  London  on  Wednesday  night  and 
put  in  a  record  of  interviews  yesterday.  Lord  Balfour 
of  Burleigh  at  9.30,  the  Chancellor  at  11.30,  Austen  Cham- 
berlain at  1,  lunch  with  Cadogan  2  to  3  o'clock,  and 
Lansdowne  in  the  afternoon. 

I  did  pretty  well  and  returned  in  better  spirits,  not 
that  I  can  complain  on  that  score  !  Travelling  back  all 
to-day  was  quite  a  holiday. 

But  I  wish  '  column  leaders  '  here  or  in  South  Africa 
could  be  left  to  do  their  job  in  their  own  way.  Let  us 
all  register  an  oath  that  if  our  turn  ever  comes  we  will 
let  our  subordinates  '  rip  '  as  the  man  said  when  he  stuck 
a  fork  into  the  cat. 

All  love  to  darling  Chang. — Ever  your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 


437 

To  his  Brother 

DUBLIN,  19th  November  1901. 

MY  DEAREST  OLD  GUY, — Your  letter  of  October  16th 
from  Piquetberg  Road  gave  me  great  pleasure.  It  pro- 
duced another  illustration  of  the  '  Corsican  Brothers ' 
theory.  Oddly  enough  I  had  said  a  week  before  to 
Mrs.  Fleming — R.  Kipling's  sister — who  goes  in  for 
telepathy  etc.,  that  I  had  dreamed  of  you  several  tunes 
just  before  getting  a  letter  or  hearing  of  you  in  the  papers. 
The  night  before  your  letter  came  I  dreamt  of  you  most 
vividly  and  the  dream  was  an  exaggeration  of  the  turn 
of  events  told  in  your  letter  when  it  came.  I  was  talking 
to  you  and  you  were  worried  and  preoccupied.  I  said 
'  how  well  you  Ve  done,  you  '11  get  another  brevet  soon.' 
You  said,  '  Oh  no,  they  don't  appreciate  the  difficulties 
and  I  am  only  a  sergeant  now  !  '  Then  the  dream  changed. 
You  got  a  splendid  message  from  French  and  three  extra- 
ordinary decorations  and  we  were  both  in  tearing  spirits 
smacking  each  other  on  the  back  and  making  silly  jokes. 
When  your  letter  came  it  told  me  of  French  having  sent 


26  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

for  you  and  said  he  was  completely  satisfied.  But  you 
are  too  busy  to  bother  about  dreams.  Mamma  is  over- 
joyed at  the  French  interview.  She  has  been  referring 
to  him  in  recent  letters  as  '  a  poor  blind  mortal '  incapable 
of  recognizing  merit. 

I  am  having  a  hard  time  of  it  just  now.  The  agitation 
in  the  West  is  beginning  to  give  me  a  hand-full.  Not 
that  it  troubles  me  in  itself.  On  the  contrary,  proclama- 
tions, baton-charges  and,  possibly,  prosecutions  are 
simple  enough.  My  trouble  is  that  it  complicates  my 
labours  with  the  Cabinet  to  get  a  proper  Land  Purchase 
Bill.  I  have  been  slaving  at  that.  Having  fired  off  five 
long  memos,  drafted  two  Bills  and  paid  three  visits  to 
s.ee  Beach  and  others  in  London,  I  am  still  hard  at  it 
and  have  only  had  one  day's  hunting.  A  skurry  from 
'  Turnings '  and  ride  home  to  Sallins  along  the  Canal 
reminded  me  of  old  days.  How  I  long  for  you  to  be 
here  and  ride  my  horses  whilst  I  sit  trying  to  cajole  the 
Treasury. 

I  mean  to  make  another  swoop  into  the  West  as  I 
do  not  intend  to  let  Dillon  have  '  all  the  limelight.' 
I  see  copies  of  your  letters  and  all  the  telegrams  to 
Brodrick,  so  I  know  pretty  well  what  is  going  on.  The 
Government  is  growled  at  by  everyone.  But  as  there 
is  no  opposition  and  everyone  wants  the  War  pushed 
at  all  costs  if  need  be  for  ever,  nothing  comes  of  the 
growling. 

I  hope  two  Cavalry  regiments  will  ease  the  work  out 
there.  It  is  interesting  to  see  the  regular  Army  and, 
above  all,  the  Cavalry  coming  out  alone  as  the  War  goes 
on.  They  seem  to  give  you  all  the  most  tiresome  work. 
But  the  War  Office  and  Government  have  their  eye  on 
the  young  column  leaders  and  nobody  else  will  get  nearly 
such  a  show  at  the  end.  I  must  now  plug  again  at  my 
work.  Best  luck  to  you. — Ever  your  loving  brother, 

GEORGE. 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  27 

438 
To  his  Mother 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGED 
PH<ENIX  PARK,  DUBLIN,  November  19th,  1901. 

MOST  DARLING, — No  time  to  write.  I  loved  your  letter 
and  feel  guilty  at  having  bottled  one  from  old  Guy  to  me. 
You  will  see  by  my  note  that  it  was  a  real  case  of  the 
*  Corsican  brothers  '  I  cannot  convey  the  vividness  of  my 
dream.  It  was,  of  course,  absurd,  in  a  sense,  as  dreams 
are.  Guy  said  to  my  congratulations,  c  Oh  no,  I  'm  only 
a  sergeant  now  ! ! '  and  would  not  be  bothered  to  talk 
about  the  war.  Then  a  message  came  from  French  and 
three  extraordinary  decorations  in  a  case.  At  once  we 
were  smacking  each  other  on  the  back  and  playing  the 
fool  together  as  we  used  to  do.  Then,  when  I  got  to 
Dublin  the  next  morning  came  his  letter,  following  in 
waking-sense  the  exact  turn  of  events  prefigured  in  my 
dream. 

I  am  having  a  hard  time  with  the  Treasury  and  Cabinet 
over  legislation.  But  I  mean  to  win  and  am  *  fighting 
fit.' — Ever  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

439 

To  his  Mother 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
PH<ENIX  PARK,  DUBLIN,  December  I5th,  1901. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA,1 — You  have  probably  seen 
enclosed  (newspaper  cutting)  in  the  *  Morning  Post.' 
What  an  amazing  *  lingo  '  they  do  write  : — *  did  ample 
justice,'  *  black-feathered  visitors,'  '  venerable  bird.' 

I  have  not  seen  the  book  yet  but  Sibell  encountered 
a  pile  of  it  hi  the  book-shop  at  Chester. 

I  have  been  bucketted  about  a  good  deal  lately  owing 
to  the  Cabinet  being  continually  postponed.  And  now 

1  The  letter  refers  to  '  The  Ballad  of  Mr.  Rook,'  some  verses  written  by 
George  Wyndham,  and  illustrated  by  his  mother,  to  amuse  his  boy,  Percy. 


28  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

I  have  to  cross  back  again  on  Wednesday  to  do  business 
in  London  with  some  of  them  on  Thursday  and  Friday. 

I  long  to  see  you  and  Papa  and  Clouds.  It  is  ages  since 
I  was  there.  I  shall  try  to  spend  my  Sundays  with  you 
after  the  meeting  of  Parliament  as  in  1900  when  I  pre- 
pared my  War  speeches  in  the  Smoking-room. 

I  want  a  holiday  badly  and  shall  try  to  make  one  about 
Christmas  with  my  Perf  who  is  very  well  and  has  got  up 
to  10th  in  school  order  of  his  Division. 

Best  love  to  you  Darling  and  to  all  at  Clouds. — Ever 
your  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

440 

To  his  Brother 

PHCENIX  PARK, 
Christmas  Eve,  1901. 

MY  DEAREST  OLD  GUY, — I  must  write  to  you  first  this 
Christmas  Eve.  It  is  never  much  use  to  take  aim  through 
the  post  so  that  a  letter  may  arrive  at  Christmas.  By 
writing  it  we  secure  an  appropriate  date  at  one  end  any 
way.  And  dear  old  Boy,  all  my  thoughts  are  with  you 
to-night  as  ever.  The  '  Evening  Mail '  says  you  had 
ten  casualties  on  the  20th  including  two  officers  wounded. 
How  I  long  to  welcome  you  back.  I  am  very  glad  that 
dear  Minnie  will  be  at  hand  if  not  with  you,  when  this 
reaches.  I  do  trust  and  pray  that  you  are  not  wearing 
yourself  out.  I  hear  all  the  news  for  what  it  is  worth. 
I  can  only  say  that  your  big-wigs  are  in  much  better 
spirits  than  they  have  been  for  months.  French  seems 
to  be  in  high  fettle  and  generally  blesses  all  his  columns. 
You  must  ask  Minnie  to  write  and  tell  me,  if  there  is  any- 
thing I  can  send  to  you  or  do  for  you.  I  will  make  a 
point  of  seeing  your  little  George  hi  January  and  write  a 
description  of  him  to  you. 

I  have  had  a  chill  from  cold  and  over- work  not  improved 
by  crossing  three  times  in  twelve  days  to  see  the  Cabinet, 
each  time  in  a  gale  of  sleet.  My  Irish  friends  are  being 
as  naughty  as  they  dare.  I  have  had  to  prosecute  four 


TO  HIS  BROTHER  29 

M.P.s  and  ten  or  fifteen  minor  agitators.  In  short,  the 
agitation  storm-cone  is  hoisted  and  I  am  in  for  a  bout 
of  the  old,  old  business.  It  is  a  great  waste  of  time  and 
energy  which  I  could  spend  to  better  purpose  if  they 
would  allow  me  to  go  on  with  constructive  work.  But 
there  it  is. 

We  shall  have  a  hard  time  when  the  House  meets  on 
January  16th.  They  will  obstruct  us  on  new  '  rules  and 
procedure  '  to  jockey  Irish  obstruction.  The  Irish  will 
raise  Cain  over  my  prosecutions  and  the  Rosebery-ites 
will  try  to  beat  us  over  the  '  Education.'  My  belief  is 
that  we  shall  stay  in  till  the  War  is  over  and  then  go  out 
with  a  vengeance.  I  cannot  tell  you  how  blissfully, 
blatantly,  reconciled  I  should  be  to  retiring  for  a  space 
into  private  life.  If  only  it  might  be  after  the  War  and 
mean  that  you  and  I  could  lay  ourselves  out  to  rest  and 
be  thankful  for  some  six  months.  That  will  come  all 
right,  never  fear  !  You  shall  bring  your  whole  family  here 
and  '  harse  in  the  Phrenix  '  and,  I  will  spend  my  Sundays 
with  you  at  Westbrook,  smoking  together,  as  of  old,  on 
the  lawn  and  wondering  why  others  are  such  mortal  fools 
as  to  work  themselves  out.  But  all  that  is  for  June  or 
September.  Meanwhile  '  once  more  unto  the  breach.' 
I  want  to  smash  the  agitation,  introduce  a  Land  Bill,  get 
money  for  a  Harbour-fishing  Policy  in  the  West  and  float 
a  Catholic  University.  After  that  any  one  may  be  a 
Minister  who  prefers  missing  all  the  joys  of  life. 

Give  my  love  to  dearest  Minnie.  I  shall  send  you  some 
books  and  things  soon.  Perf  has  grown  a  great  deal  and 
passed  into  4  Remove.'  We  had  a  great  gallop  in  the 
Park  to-day,  and  afterwards  went  shopping.  But  I  am 
too  tired  to  enjoy  much  now  and  look  forward  all  the 
time  to  rest  and  being  together  and  happy,  and  letting 
things  rip.  But  we  must  just  put  in  five  or  six  more 
months. 

God  bless  you,  dearest  old  Guy. — Your  most  loving 
brother,  GEORGE. 


30  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

441 

To  his  Father 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
PutKNix  PARK,  DUBLIN,  Christmas,  1901. 

DEAREST  PAPA, — I  have  just  got  your  letter  and  send 
you  a  Merry  Christmas  and  happy  New  Year. 

I  feel  the  separation  and  the  impossibility  of  throwing 
off  the  work  here.  Nobody  tries  to  delegate  work  more 
than  I  but  here  everyone  looks  to  the  Chief  Secretary 
of  the  day  and  few  will  take  any  responsibility.  They 
•vyatch  your  every  gesture  as  a  dog  does  instead  of  going 
in  the  direction  you  point  out.  In  the  end  you  must  go 
yourself. 

I  must  carry  on  till  Easter.  Then  I  should  very  much 
like  to  come  to  Clouds  and  bring  Percy  and  have  him  taught 
to  shoot.  He  is  fourteen  and  ought  to  learn  to  handle  a 
gun  at  rabbits. 

I  sent  full  particulars  in  my  letter  to  Mamma  of  his  work 
and  Trials. 

I  earnestly  hope  that  we  shall  be  turned  out  so  soon  as 
the  War  is  over  and  I  wish  Rosebery  and  his  friends  joy 
of  '  efficiency.' — Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

442 
To  Charles  Boyd 

[Line  undated,  but  probably 
CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE,  1901.] 

I  have  fixed  up  the  motor-transit  scheme  which  shall 
make  Ireland  a  Pioneer,  Begob  ! 

Also  '  at  last,  you  Dogs,'  I  have  got  my  Railways  to 
make  proper  links  to  my  Western  Harbours. 

I  pull  and  push  at  administering  the  Land  Bill. 

I  am  happy  hi  the  midst  of  '  cross-currents  '  which  are 
slowly,  though  tumultuously  here  and  there,  changing 
this  country  to  a  better  state. 


TO  HIS  FATHER  31 

It  is  slow  work,  mostly  invisible,  but  it  is  there,  or 
rather  here. 

All  Good  Luck  in  the  New  Year. 

G.  Parker  or  E.  Talbot  are  the  best. — Yours  ever, 
old  boy,  GEORGE  W. 

443 

To  his  Mother 

HOUSE  OF  COMMONS, 
January  20th,  1902. 

DARLING  MAMMA, — A  splendid  letter  from  dear  old  Guy 
about  his  Convoy  fight.  Am  having  it  typed  before 
sending  it  on.  He  lost  20  per  cent,  in  casualties  and  was, 
as  he  says  '  a  man  on  a  mouse  '  for  eight  hours.  I  grudge 
keeping  you  waiting  but  want  a  copy  to  shew  to  St.  John 
and  A.  J.  B.  He  is  so  pleased  because  all  the  work  was 
done  by  the  16th  whom  he  '  knew  could  pull  him  through.' 
That  reminds  me  that  Harry  Bourke  had  a  talk  with 
an  Irishman  in  the  16th,  back  on  sick  leave.  He  said  of 
Guy  4  By  the  Holy  I  'd  go  through  the  fire  of  Hell  for  him.' 
—Your  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

444 

To  his  Father 

35  PARK  LANK,  W., 
January  26th,  1902. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  am  glad  to  hear  your  view  of 
Geoff  Brooke  and  the  Irish  Guards.  He  saw  me  for  a 
moment,  told  me  his  income  and  of  his  Trustees'  consent. 
I  said  I  could  not  take  any  responsibility  and  that  he  must 
decide  for  himself  in  consultation  with  you  since  you  had 
been  helping  him  in  the  matter.  But  that  if  he  wanted 
to  know  whether  it  was  possible  to  be  in  the  Guards  at 
that  figure  I  could  only  say  that  it  was  and  that  many 
of  my  friends  had  done  it.  This  is  all  the  more  true  of 
the  Irish  Guards  who  will  frequently  be  quartered  in 
Dublin  where  a  man  can  have  more  sport,  good  society 


32  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

and  recreation  for  less  money  than  in  any  other  town  in 
Europe.  I  then  received  your  first  letter  and  was  glad  of 
that  as  last  night  at  the  Abercorns  I  met  Vesey  Dawson, 
an  old  brother  officer,  who  commands  the  Irish  Guards. 

He  approached  me  of  his  own  accord  on  the  subject 
and  asked  many  questions  about  Geoffrey. 

He  was  much  pleased  with  my  account  of  him  and  is 
bent  on  having  Geoffrey  in  his  regiment. 

He  told  me  that  there  was  much  less  extravagance  than 
in  my  day  and  no  gambling.  They  have  a  good  lot  of 
pleasant  professional  soldiers  and  I  am  quite  sure  that 
Geoffrey  could  not  do  better  than  go  in  for  them.  Hang- 
ing about  with  Crammers  and  Militia  majors  is  a  terrible 
waste  of  impressionable  years,  so  that  is  all  for  the  best. 

I  had  a  talk,  too,  with  Lord  Roberts  and,  in  the 
afternoon,  with  Colonel  Ward.  The  ulterior  news  from 
South  Africa  continues  to  be  very  cheerful. 

I  am  riding  a  long  patient  race  in  Ireland  disregarding 
the  excited  advice  which  is  showered  on  me.  Nobody 
knows  better  than  I  do  the  risk  of  doing  anything  in  that 
country.  But  I  know  that  the  risk  of  doing  nothing  is 
far  greater  and  that  to  take  the  advice  of  extremists  at 
either  pole  is  not  a  risk  but  a  certainty  of  disaster. 

The  '  parochialism  '  of  the  Ulster  right  wing  is  beyond 
belief. 

So  far  all  my  calculations  and  forecasts  have  been 
justified.  My  '  Fishing  Policy  '  and  '  Land  Policy  '  are 
ready  to  take  the  stage  and,  in  Ireland,  arouse  a  great 
deal  of  interest.  But  you  must  not  be  disconcerted  if 
my  Land  Policy  is  received  with  howls  from  both  the 
extremist  sections.  It  may  even  be  scouted  for  a  time. 
All  the  same  it  is  the  only  sound  policy. 

Turning  to  '  Agitation  '  and  '  Coercion  '  I  do  not  expect 
to  win  for  eighteen  months  ;  but  I  am  winning.  The 
De  Freyne  Estate  Plan  of  Campaign  has  broken  down, 
and  I  know  everything  about  their  internal  disputes. 
That  is  why  I  go  on  '  riding  the  race  '  in  my  own  way 
and  why  I  hope  to  win  in  June  1903. 

Even  if  I  am  wrong  and  have  not  got  hold  of  the  best 


TO  MRS.  DREW  33 

policy  it  is  an  advantage  to  know  exactly  what  you 
intend  to  do  and,  in  Ireland,  almost  a  certainty  that  the 
person  with  definite  views  will  succeed  in  impressing 
them  on  that  country. 

I  shall  pass  a  Land  Bill,  reconstruct  the  Agricultural 
Department  and  Congested  District  Board,  stimulate 
Fishing  and  Horse-breeding  ;  and  revolutionize  Education. 
Then  I  shall  '  nunc  dimittis  '  and  let  some  one  else  have  a 
turn. — Your  devoted  son,  GEORGE. 

445 

To  Charles  Boyd 

36  PARK  LANE,  W., 
ll.ii.02. 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — Your  letter  fills  me  with  apprehen- 
sion.1 I  trust  that  we  may  be  spared  so  great  a  public 
loss  and  so  keen  a  private  sorrow  to  those  who  have  known 
and  therefore  loved  C.  J.  R. — Yours  ever,  GEORGE  W. 


446 
To  Mrs.  Drew 

March  1902. 

I  will  first  answer  the  two  questions  in  your  letter, 
adding  a  very  few  remarks,  and  then  I  mean  to  indulge 
myself  by  writing  a  short  letter  to  you  on  my  own  account. 
But  business  first. 

I  will  gladly  help  to  give  these  letters  2  a  wider  life,  to 
bring  the  Porch  into  being,  and  to  show  that  I  jump  at 
a  chance  of  doing  anything  that  you  ask  that  can  be  done. 

I  find  I  have  answered  both  questions.  Because  I 
would  not  help  to  give  the  letters  a  wider  life  if  I  thought 
them  too  trivial.  For  I  should  not  like  any  but  very 
foolish  people  to  be  in  a  position  to  criticise  you  for  printing 

1  The  letter  told  him  of  the  seiious  condition  of  Cecil  Rhodes,  who  died  on 
March  28th. 

8  Letters  of  Mr.  Puskin  to  Mrs.  Drew. 

VOL.  II.  C 


84  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

the  letters.     Very  foolish  people  may  do  so  as  it  is.     But 
their  opinions  do  not  count. 

The  letters.  They  are  valuable  and  delightful  inasmuch 
as  they  reveal  something  more  of  a  great  man  .  .  .  great 
in  himself  and  greater  because  he  changed  the  minds  of 
many.  But  for  Ruskin,  much  of  Carlyle's  teaching  would 
never  have  reached  people  who,  in  their  turn  again,  have 
been  allowed  to  reach  yet  others.  Even  if  we  leave  Art, 
Nature  and  the  philosophy  of  Science  aside,  the  man  who 
wrote  '  Unto  This  Last '  remains  a  great  force  which, 
thank  God,  is  not  expended. 

The  letters  are  generally  valuable  because  they  show 
that  great  men  may  be  playful  and  affectionate.  In 
particular,  the  references  to  your  Father  in  No.  1 ;  to- 
Browning  in  No.  5 ;  to  the  Land  League  in  No.  17 ;  to 
the  law  of  landowning  in  24 ;  though  unluckily  not  free 
from  obscurity,  are  all  of  public  importance. 

Again,  in  another  category,  '  the  planes  twisted  by  rock- 
winds,'  and  the  profound  thought  on  Morning  and  Evening,, 
Spring  and  Autumn,  in  5 ;  the  '  move  the  shadow  from 
the  dial  for  evermore '  in  8 ;  the  *  olives,  grass  and 
cyclamen  '  in  28,  are  treasures  which  you  ought  to  dispense* 
The  reference  to  Lady  Day  in  13,  and,  to  make  a  quick 
change,  I  like,  at  any  rate,  to  possess  the  Bishop  and 
Pigsty  in  33. 

I  have  a  doubt  about  the  reference  to  Arthur  Balfour 
— if  it  is  to  him — in  4.  It  is  not  clear  and  might  be 
misunderstood.  .  .  . 

And  now  I  may  please  myself  by  writing  to  you.  That 
is  a  very  poor  substitute  for  seeing  you  at  Saighton  ; 
there  is  just  a  chance  I  may  be  at  Eaton  on  Sunday 
week.  I  would  stay  over  Monday  if  you  held  out  a  hope 
that  you  could  come  over  and  take  the  £5  personally. 
Sibell  and  I  would  meet  you  on  bicycles. 

The  postscript  to  your  letter  stirs  the  deep  and  bitter 
waters  of  my  life.  It  may  be  that  I  am  meant  to  '  break 
my  heart '  as  a  necessary  object  lesson  to  others.  I  can't 
write  about  that,  but  I  should  love  to  hear  you  talk  of  it. 
I  confess  that  I  have  been  depressed,  for  me,  during  the 


TO  HIS  FATHER  85 

last  three  weeks.  I  had  to  get  some  things  done  and  to 
prevent  others  with  a  high  temperature,  from  my  bed 
.  .  .  that  is  an  unusual  '  coign  of  vantage  '  in  my  life, 
and  probably  I  magnified  and  distorted  matters  which 
are  quite  big  and  ugly  enough  hi  themselves. 

But  blessings  were  suddenly  showered  on  me  and  mine 
on  Lady  Day,  as  Sibell  was  careful  to  point  out.  First 
a  telegram  from  my  brother  Guy,  to  say  he  had  three 
months'  leave.  He  has  been  through  the  whole  war, 
away  for  three  years.  I  have  been  frightened  at  the 
strain  this  has  put  on  my  Mother ;  now  she  has  three 
months'  rest  from  anxiety.  My  boy  passed  his  Trials, 
in  spite  of  influenza,  also  on  Lady  Day.  The  Land  Bill 
survived  a  deliberate  attempt  on  the  part  of  the  '  Times,' 
*  Morning  Post,'  etc.,  to  stab  me  and  my  offspring.  This 
means  something  and  may  mean  a  great  deal.  Last, 
but  not  least,  you  wrote  on  Lady  Day  and  brought  back 
a  flood  of  Saighton  and  poetry  and  gentleness  and  peace 
and  wisdom  and  general  pleasantness,  of  which  my  life 
has  been  wholly  stripped  for  months. 

So  I  thank  you  and  purposely  keep  back  the  £5  as  an 
excuse,  at  worst,  for  writing  again,  and  at  best  for  seeing 
you  Monday  week. 

447 
To  his  Father 

HOUSE  OF  COMMONS, 
April  7th,  1902. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  have  had  some  interesting  and 
amusing  days  since  I  left  the  haven  of  Clouds.  It  was  a 
rough  passage  on  Thursday  but,  after  testing  the  force 
and  bitterness  of  the  wind  for  half  an  hour  I  slept  like  a 
stone  and  arrived  very  fresh  and  well.  I  talked  business 
with  Cadogan  till  dinner.  At  dinner  and  after  till  nearly 
twelve  o'clock  I  polished  off  (1)  Judge  Meredith,  head  of 
Land  Commission,  leaving  him  assured  that  the  Land 
Bill  was  the  best  possible  under  circumstances  of  War 
deficits  and  (2)  Colonel  Chamberlain,  Inspector  General 


36  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

of  the  R.  I.  C.  with  whom  I  went  at  great  length  into  the 
4  state  of  the  country.' 

Friday  I  galloped  a  pulling  horse  from  8.30  to  9.30  and 
got  to  the  Castle  at  10.45.  I  had  a  grand  morning  of 
concentrated  work  with  Harrell,  Under  Secretary,  the 
Attorney  General  etc.,  etc.,  till  2  o'clock.  Lunched  at 
Kildare  Street  Club  with  other  officials  ;  took  on  the  Lord 
Lieutenant  and  others  at  3  o'clock  in  formal  Council  till 
5.30,  wrote  and  telegraphed  till  7  o'clock.  I  then  felt 
the  want  of  air,  so  walked  on  the  Quays  till  7.30  and  dressed 
at  the  Kildare  Street  Club  for  my  Landlords'  dinner. 

It  was  a  great  success  and  as  good  as  a  play.  We  sat 
down  fourteen ;  Dermot  (Lord  Mayo)  in  command  at 
my  left ;  Lords  Clonbrock,  Rosse,  Rathdonnell,  Cloncurry, 
The  O'Conor  Don,  Mr.  Bruen,  Bagwell,  O'Callaghan 
Westrop,  De  Fellenburg,  Montgomery,  their  Secretary 
Willis,  and  Solicitor  Moore,  with  Hanson.  The  com- 
parative gene  of  the  start  was  relieved  by  Dermot,  who 
ordered  in  more  and  more  waiters  until  at  one  moment 
they  could  not  wait — it  was  a  small  room — for  numbers 
and  then,  at  the  next,  as  a  corrective,  he  marshalled  them 
erect  behind  our  chairs  at  an  interval  of  four  feet  like 
N.C.O.'s  on  parade.  Twenty  minutes  of  alternation 
between  the  two  manoeuvres  having  led  to  no  one  getting 
4  bite  or  sup  '  he  resigned  the  command  and  the  dinner 
really  got  under  way.  At  9.30  we  cleared  the  cloth  and 
*  got  to.'  They  had  questions  drawn  up  as  points  of 
departure.  At  first  it  was  rather  slow  going  in  sticky 
ground.  But,  somehow,  I  steadily  increased  the  pace. 
By  11  o'clock  we  were  galloping  :  and  at  12.15  we  separated 
in  reciprocal  enthusiasm.  Friday  I  wrote  a  memo  :  in 
the  morning.  Worked  through  the  other  Departments, 
Local  Government  Board,  and  Valuation  Office,  etc. 
Caught  the  6.45  to  Kingstown,  dined  7  to  8  with  Wrench, 
the  most  practical  Land  Commissioner ;  went  on  Board 
and  had  an  entrancing  passage  of  stars,  sparks  and  fresh 
wind  ;  got  to  Eaton  at  3  a.m.  and  slept  till  11  o'clock. 

I  found  Bendor  and  Shelagh  very  well  and  happy. 
Benny  had  won  the  14  stone  Hunt  race  himself  on 


TO  HIS  FATHER  37 

Rainbow  II.,  bought  from  Steeds,  and  the  lightweight 
with  Etona,  ridden  by  young  Garnett,  a  Cheshire  Squireen. 
He  bought  the  mare  from  Harry  Bourke.  Garnett  was 
staying  with  Lady  Olivia,  Daisy  and  Hans  Pless,  Corn- 
wallis,  and  a  South  African  Officer  invalided  home — an 
amazing  amalgam.  Cornwallis  and  Hans  Pless  great 
on  the  Income  Tax,  Compulsory  Service,  Bridge,  etc. 
Bendor  quite  sees  the  fun  and  sails  through  intent  on 
horses,  motors  and  Yeomanry. 

I  welcome  keenness  at  his  age  in  anything  and  he  is 
delightfully  keen.  The  whole  place  has  been  turned  into 
a  glorified  embodiment  of  a  boy's  holidays.  In  the  Park, 
just  to  the  left  front  of  the  great  iron  gates  and  Watts' 
Statue,  he  has  constructed  a  steeple-chase  course  with 
a  mile  and  a  half  of  high  tarred  rails  round  it,  giving  the 
impression  that  a  railway  is  being  laid  down  in  front  of 
the  house.  The  water-jump  is  regulation  width,  puddled, 
and  always  full  of  water  from  a  pipe.  The  old  Deer-house 
is  now  the  home  of  badgers  whose  lives  have  been  spared 
after  digging  out  to  assist  fox-hunting.  The  stables  are 
crammed  with  hunters,  chase-horses,  polo  ponies,  Basutos, 
carriage  horses,  American  Trotter  and  two  motor  cars. 
He  enjoys  it  all  from  morning  to  night  and  gives  unbounded 
satisfaction  to  a  horse-loving  community.  In  the  interval 
of  '  stripping  '  the  horses,  which  takes  from  two  to  three 
hours  per  diem,  he  directs  my  attention  to  marked  passages 
in  the  works  of  Mark  Twain.  But  it  is  all  very  boyish 
and  delightful :  no  luxury.  I  was  quite  glad  to  sleep  in 
a  room  like  a  servant's  room,  with  hard  bed  and  windows 
blazing  into  my  eyes. 

To-day  they  all  went  off  hi  motors  and  waggonettes  to 
Yeomanry  Point  to  Point  races.  I  have  just  got  a  telegram 
from  Lettice  to  say  that  Bendor  won  the  Open  Cup  with 
Etona  and  the  officers'  race  with  Rainbow,  riding  both 
himself.  So  that,  given  his  present  object,  not  even 
Rosebery  could  criticise  the  '  efficiency '  with  which  he 
pursues.  It  won't  last,  of  course,  but  after  all  my  weeks 
and  months  of  stuffy  intelligence  I  was  frankly  delighted 
to  embrace  so  much  of  health  and  open-air  activity.  As 


88  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

Dizzy  said,  '  They  never  read  ' ;  barring  '  Mark  Twain.' 
But  there  is  nothing  '  slang  '  or  '  fast '  or  '  raffish.'  He 
has  laid  out  a  very  good  Dutch  garden,  gets  up  early, 
takes  an  interest  in  the  trees  and  has  collected  more  four- 
footed  companions  about  him  than  any  of  our  contempo- 
raries with  the  exception  of  Khama  King  of  Palapye. 
I  am  coming  to  you  for  Sunday. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

448 
To  Mrs.  Drew 

April  9th,  1902. 

I  must  bless  and  thank  you  for  your  letter.  Let  me 
tell  you  one  more  story  of  Rhodes. 

After  the  South  African  Commission  on  which  I  brought 
out  facts,  not  to  defend — for  that  was  impossible — but 
to  make  some  of  his  actions  intelligible,  I  called  on  him 
by  appointment  for  breakfast.  He  had  been  riding  and 
was  dressing.  He  was  shy,  but  unconventional  always. 
So  he  suddenly  walked  in  from  his  room  in  a  shirt,  his 
face  lathered  all  over,  a  shaving  brush  in  one  hand  and  a 
razor  in  the  other.  With  these  precautions  against  any 
physical  exhibition  of  gratitude,  he  said  abruptly. in  his 
high  voice,  '  Wyndham,  I  can't  embrace  you,  but  you 
know  what  I  mean.' 

Monday  is  a  precious  possession  to  me.  I  am  sure  it 
will  not  be  wasted.  And  '  you  know  what  I  mean.' 


To  his  Mother 

CLOUDS, 
SALISBURY,  April  ISth,  1902. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — Your  telegrams  have  kept  us 
going.  Sibell  and  I  are  with  you  and  dear  Madge  and 
darling  little  Dick,1  all  the  time  in  thought  and  prayer. 

I  have  written  to  Madge  about  Woodcock  [his  brother's 

.   *  His  brother's  second  son  was  dangerously  ill  with  pneumonia. 


TO  HIS  FATHER  39 

servant] ;  also  suggesting  that  I  should  send  our  William 
to  help  at  such  a  moment.  He  is  all  willingness  and  smiles, 
full  of  good  nature  and  resource,  based — let  me  say — 
on  being  a  Christian  of  Sibell's  persuasion. 

Consequently  he  never  gives  any  trouble  and  always 
gives  a  great  deal  of  help. 

I  have  wandered  round  our  walk,  thinking  of  you  and 
praying  for  Dick,  and  hoping  that  this  sunny  day  is  helping 
the  little  darling. 

I  wrote  to  Madeira,  saying  nothing  of  the  illness  but 
offering  all  possible  facilities  to  Guy  and  Minnie  on  arrival. 

Darling  we  will  hope  and  believe. 

It  is  not  presumptuous  to  see  with  Sibell  something 
uncommonly  like  intelligent  and  kindly  guidance  when  we 
consider  where  we  should  be  if  Guy  had  sailed  in  the 
Kinfauns  1  That  ship  is  wrecked  near  the  Needles.  So 
all  have  been  spared  embarrassment  and  further  anxiety. 
Let  us  then  believe  and  hope. 

And  now  darling  I  am  glad  that  you  are  getting  the 
Doctors  to  put  you  right.  Get  well  now. 

Sibell,  Perf  and  I  will  make  Clouds  our  head-quarters 
for  a  week,  at  least.  Papa  suggests  it. 

We  go  up  to-morrow  to  have  Perf  over-hauled,  first 
by  Douglas  Powell  for  chest,  and  then  by  Robson  Roose 
for  general  advice. 

Meanwhile  we  pray  for  Peace.  Things  are  just  a  little 
bit  better  than  they  look  in  the  papers  and  I  am  not 
without  hope  of  Peace. 

God  bless  you,  darling,  and  little  Dick. — Ever  your  most 
loving  son,  GEORGE. 

450 

To  his  Father 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
April  Uth,  1902. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  must  congratulate  you  on  having 
*  lived  to  see  the  registration  duty  re-imposed  on  Corn.' 
The  Budget  is  bold  and  honest      I  have  my  doubts 


40  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

of  the  2d.,  instead  of  Id.,  on  cheques  and  dividend  warrants. 
It  seems  '  fidgetty  '  for  half  a  million. 

You  could  not  have  taken  the  £2,650,000  on  corn  without 
putting  another  penny  on  the  income  tax. 

To  fill  the  remaining  gap  of  £500,000  I  should,  I  confess 
have  preferred  some  attempt  by  a  further  stamp  duty  to 
get  at  the  people  who  have  large  sums  to  invest  and  who 
gamble  on  the  Stock  Exchange. 

The  Id.  on  cheques  will  worry  the  very  people  who  feel  the 
Income  Tax  most,  i.e.,  those  with  from  £700  to  £2000  a  year. 

But  it  is  a  good  Budget ;  both  sound  in  the  revival 
of  a  principle  and  opportune  in  the  moment  for  applying 
it. — Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

451 

To  his  Mother 

HOUSE  OF  COMMONS, 
April  18th,  1902. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  wired  to  remind  you  to  wire 
to  Guy  whatever  the  doctors  authorize  and  you  think  fit 
to-morrow  so  as  to  run  no  risk  of  missing  if  his  ship  gets 
to  Madeira  early  Monday.     It  is  due  on  Monday, 
'  S.S.  Dunvegan  Castle, 
Funchal, 

Madeira. 
I  long  for  better  news. 

I  had  a  Field-day  yesterday  in  the  House  and  the  result 
in  papers  to-day  is  much  better  than  I  could  have  hoped 
for. 

All  love  to  you.  Give  my  love  to  little  Dick. — Your 
most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

452 

To  his  Mother 

CLOUDS, 
SALISBURY,  April  20th,  1902. 

DARLING, — How  restful  it  is  to  be  so  much  less  anxious 
about  little  Dick  and  to  think  of  seeing  dear  old  Goukie 
[Guy]  in  less  than  a  week  ! 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  41 

I  have  written  to  Sir  Francis  Evans  and  shall  let  all 
concerned  know  the  probable  hour  of  the  Dunvegan's 
arrival.  If,  as  Minnie  says,  it  is  a  bad  ship,  I  doubt  her 
coming  in  before  Saturday  morning.  I  have  looked  out 
all  the  trains.  The  two  most  likely  to  suit  are,  Southampton 
West  11.50  a.m.  Dorchester  1.56  ;  and  4.6  p.m.  Dorchester 
5.50.  Those  are  the  best  trains  in  the  day.  So  at  one  or 
other  of  those  hours  on  Friday  or  Saturday  we  ought  to 
concentrate.  I  say  Dorchester  but  Weymouth  may  be 
better  ;  or,  we  may,  by  boating  to  Fawley  and  driving  on, 
catch  a  better  service.  I  will  keep  you  advised. 

Tell  dear  Madge  not  to  bother  about  bedrooms  in  view 
of  nurses  etc.  I  can  make  my  own  arrangements  to  sleep 
at  an  Inn  in  Weymouth.  Whatever  happens  I  want  to 
see  old  Guy  during  the  Sunday.  I  shall  insist  on  not 
having  Irish  Estimates  Friday. 

Am  so  rejoiced  to  hear  you  are  getting  better.  I  did 
not  like  your  '  wheeze  '  when  last  together  here.  But 
with  the  '  stitch  in  time  '  and  the  summer  coming  on  you 
will  be  able  now  to  enjoy  Guy. 

I  am  hopeful  about  Peace :  not  immediately,  but 
surely. 

'  Sumer  is  i  cumen  in 
Loud  sing  Cucu  ! ' 

I  rode  with  Perf  yesterday  on  his  *  Perfection.'  I  have 
slept  eleven  hours  since  then.  To-day  I  am  being  gloriously 
idle  to  get  ready  for  speech  at  Brighton  on  Wednesday. 

With  Guy  back  and  little  Dick  getting  well  nothing  else 
matters. — Your  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

453 

To  his  Mother 

April  22nd,  1902. 

DARLING, — Papa  is  writing,  but  I  am  so  pleased  I  cannot 
help  putting  my  oar  in. 

Sir  Francis  Evans  says  the  ship  will  arrive  between 
5  and  6  a.m.  on  Saturday  morning. 


42  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

We  all  go  down  by  the  4.50  from  Waterloo.  I  expect, 
D.V.  we  shall  come  on — Papa,  Madge  and  I — by  the 
11.50  Saturday,  due  Dorchester  1.56  for  lunch  at  2.30. 

I  am  just  off  to  get  a  '  Cat '  for  Guy,  a  silver  cup  of 
some  sort  with 

Crest 

Au  bon  droit 

GUY  from  GEORGE 

April  1899  :  April  1902 

Per  tot  discrimina  rerum 

which  is  as  who  should  say,  *  Through  so  many  bedevil  - 
ments  of  affairs.'  It  is  from  Virgil  of  ^Eneas — one  of  the 
nine  Worthies — getting  home  at  last,  with  household 
Gods,  to  the  strand  of  Lavinia  after  his  many  notable 
adventures  by  sea  and  land.  Hoo  Roo  ! — Your  most 
loving  son,  GEORGE. 

454 

To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

WESTBROOK, 
UPWEY,  April  27th,  1902. 

BELOVED  PAMELA, — I  must  share  with  you,  and  the 
others  if  you  think  it  worth  sending  on,  some  little  bits 
of  our  great  experience  in  welcoming  dear  old  Guy. 

But  it  can  only  be  little  bits,  for,  as  you  know  better 
than  most,  the  great  occasions  of  life,  particularly  if  long, 
must  be  lived.  The  sluice  gates  of  perception  are  all 
drawn  up  and  every  minute  of  long-drawn  hours  floods 
your  soul  with  the  usual,  the  unusual,  and  the  unexampled, 
each  sharply  defined  and  preternaturally  significant. 

We  arrived  at  Southampton,  about  6.30,  Papa,  Sibell 
and  self,  and  met  there  Madge  and  Walter.  We  knew 
from  a  notice  that  the  ship  could  not  be  in  before  7  o'clock 
next  morning  and  from  charts  we  made  out  the  berth  she 
would  take  up.  But  this  would  not  suffice.  We  recon- 
noitred— Papa  and  I — the  mile  and  a  quarter  of  wind- 
swept desolation  to  the  ocean  quay,  pursued  sometimes 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  43 

by  three  engines  abreast,  for  the  whole  extent  is  one  level 
crossing.  The  great  ships  and  deep  docks,  the  rubbish 
heaps  and  refreshment  shanties  became  then  and  remain 
for  ever  permanent  fixtures  in  the  retentive  memory  of 
over-wrought  expectation. 

We  reported  that  at  any  hour  of  the  night  we  could  find 
the  way  at  a  moment's  notice,  and  gave  orders  to  be  called 
at  4.30  a.m.  although  told  with  some  insistence  that  we 
should  be  warned  an  hour  and  a  half  before  the  ship  came 
in,  on  receipt  of  a  wire  signalling  her  at  Hurst  Castle. 
Some  of  the  party,  none  the  less,  kept  waking  all  night 
and  at  five  minutes  to  four,  I  bounded  out  of  bed,  unable 
to  keep  from  '  doing.'  So  Madge,  Walter  and  I  fared 
out  at  5.20  and  reached  the  berth,  No.  35,  at  quarter  to 
six.  We  got  up  a  great  excitement  on  seeing  a  Union- 
Castle  Liner  turn  the  corner  of  Calshot  Castle  at  that 
moment  and  steam  in.  But  no.  She  anchored,  and  was 
not  the  Dunvegan  Castle.  The  wind  was  bitter.  We 
tried  three  mugs  of  tea  and  two  ice-cakes  for  4d.  in  the 
navvies'  beer-hall.  Then  Sibell  arrived,  having  missed 
Papa.  No  hope  of  the  ship  before  7.30.  So  back  I  sent 
her  out  of  the  wind  ;  followed,  and  rinding  her  and  Papa 
at  the  Dock  Gates,  back  we  came  again  arriving  this 
time  at  7  o'clock,  with  the  certainty  of  having  but  one 
half  hour  to  wait.  Then  suddenly  in  the  offing, 
mysteriously  sharp  and  magically  tall  was  the  prow  of 
our  ship — only  twenty  minutes  more  to  wait  and  the 
prow  was  visibly,  though  slowly,  growing  taller  and  taller, 
dominating  the  tugs  and  anchored  yachts  and  proving 
how  absurd  it  had  been  to  magnify  the  smaller  vessels 
of  the  past  hour  and  a  half  with  the  ship. 

Then  she  began  to  turn.  We  took  up  a  good  position, 
craning  our  necks  and  straining  our  eyes  to  scan  the  long 
row  of  faces.  No  one  we  knew  on  the  forecastle,  or  the 
waist,  or  the  stern,  and  then  again  just  as  the  chill  began 
to  grip  expectation,  quite  simply  Guy  slung  out  of  the 
stern  cabin-shelter  longer  of  limb  and  broader  of  shoulder 
than  our  memory  of  him  ;  and  Minnie  all  laughter  by  his 
side.  We  waved,  they  waved.  The  crowd  on  the  Quay 


44  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

jammed  the  navvies  with  the  gangway,  feeble  handker- 
chiefs were  fluttered  by  the  foolish  fond,  there  were  some 
gulps  and  nervous  little  cheers.  A  lady  who  had  not  seen 
her  husband  for  three  years  scuttled  on  board  with  the 
luggage  porters  and  seemed  about  to  kiss  everybody. 
And  there  was  Guy  ten  yards  off,  tall  and  big  and  calm, 
smiling  and  finishing  a  cigarette. 

Then  we  ground  each  other's  hands  and  grinned  and 
exchanged  light  pats  on  the  shoulder.  And  so  in  two  flys 
to  breakfast,  with  bouquet  and  Cup  of  welcome.  [George 
presented  Guy  with  a  large  silver  bowl  for  the  centre  of 
dining  table  on  the  occasion  of  his  return.]  Hubbub 
quadrupled  by  Mai  West  and  Daisy  Pless. 

Madge  and  Walter  had  confided  to  us  that  Upwey 
meant  to  welcome  Guy.  They  were  afraid  he  would  be 
annoyed,  had  done  their  best  to  restrain  the  village 
enthusiasm.  But  not  at  all.  The  villagers  had  never 
seen  Guy ;  but  he  was  coming  back  from  the  war  to  the 
'  big  house  '  and  they  were  not  going  to  be  done  out  of 
proprietory  rights  in  the  Colonel !  During  a  three  hours 
creeping  journey  along  Poole  harbour  and  the  Hampshire 
coast  little  Walter  kept  giggling.  It  was  impossible  to 
explain  that  his  ebullitions  were  due  to  the  promised 
reception,  and  we  had  some  difficulty  in  starting  fresh 
topics  to  cover  these  bursts  of  hilarity.  At  Bournemouth 
a  porter — ex-soldier — insisted  on  brushing  Guy's  khaki 
coat.  As  we  swung  out  of  the  Dorchester  tunnel  the 
*  murder  was  out.'  Flags  were  flying  across  the  streets 
and  from  the  trees  of  the  straggling  village  suddenly 
revealed.  We  drew  up ;  and  had  our  first  sight  of  a 
figure  that  was  to  pervade  and  dominate  all  subsequent 
proceedings,  giving  that  touch  of  the  absurd  which  is 
essential  to  relieve  the  pathetic.  There  he  was — Mr. 
Drake  by  name — once  reputed  to  have  been  a  soldier  and 
anyhow  claiming  to  have  a  son  at  the  war. 

He  had  been  inspired  beyond  the  highest  flight  ever 
attained  by  R.  Caldicott,  to  mount  a  shaggy  black  village 
pony  with  rope  bridle,  and  for  the  greater  glory,  my  dear, 
had  armed  himself  with  a  large  wooden  hay-fork,  to  one 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  45 

tip  and  to  the  handle  of  which  were  tied  the  two  corners 
of  a  large  red  and  white  flag,  like  a  Giant's  Bandana. 
We  saw  him  mount,  assisted  by  many,  to  be  in  the  saddle 
before  the  train  alarmed  his  steed.  Some  cheers  were 
given,  Guy  touched  his  khaki  staff-cap  ;  Minnie  grinned 
over  her  bouquet,  and  Mr.  Drake  took  command.  Minnie 
and  Guy  in  seats  of  honour  were  ushered  into  a  village 
landau  with  one  white  horse,  jogged  with  difficulty  into 
a  shamble  by  flyman,  with  hat  brushed  the  wrong  way. 
Madge  and  I  scrambled  into  a  dog-cart.  Mr.  Drake  having 
held  up  his  banner,  called  for,  *  Three  cheers  for  Colonel 
Wyndham,'  and  took  his  post  at  the  head  of  the  column. 

Westbrook  House  is  not  three  furlongs  from  the  station. 
But  you  must  not  think  we  were  to  drive  there  straight. 
We  went  up  the  valley  and  down  again,  past  every  house 
which  could  pretend  to  be  included  in  Upwey.  Flags 
flew,  and  bunches  of  laurel  decked  the  handles  of  mops 
ingeniously  secured  by  shutting  down  the  windows  on 
their  heads. 

Mr.  Drake  held  up  his  fork  in  warning  and  cried,  Halt ! 
The  old  horse  was  slowly  unharnessed  and  the  patriots 
proceeded  to  drag  the  carriage  by  a  rope.  We  were  now 
complete  in  our  parade  for  the  avenue.  Drake  mounted 
and  flourishing  his  fork.  Then  the  draggers,  then  the 
landau  bearing  the  flyman  aloft,  whose  hat,  now  that  his 
occupation  was  gone,  seemed  twice  brushed  the  wrong 
way  :  the  Colonel  and  his  lady ;  all  the  school-children 
hanging  on  behind,  and  last  Madge,  straining  her  wrists 
not  to  run  over  them.  At  the  bridge,  in  front  of  the  gates 
the  Chairman  of  the  Parish  Council  stopped  the  cortege 
and  made  a  few  appropriate  remarks.  Guy  said  nothing, 
but  saluted  ;  and  with  a  cheer  in  we  went  through  the 
fluttering  flags  in  the  grounds,  to  look  up  and  see  little 
Dick  held  up  at  the  window,  in  a  quilt,  and  darling  Mamma 
with  a  nurse  clinging  to  each  of  her  arms.  Drake,  the 
immortal  Drake  had  saved  the  situation  !  The  nurses 
were  anxious  that  the  emotion  would  be  too  much  for 
Mamma.  But  when  Drake  rode  in  even  she  could  smile 
and  laugh. 


46  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

We  have  all  been  perfectly  happy.  Guy  looks  stronger 
and  greater  than  ever ;  talks  as  slowly  and  contentedly 
as  ever.  So  let  us  all  thank  God,  and  sing  God  save  the 
King. — Ever  your  devoted  brother,  GEORGE. 

455 

To  his  Mother 

HOUSE  OF  COMMONS, 
April  2Qth,  1902. 

BELOVED  MAMMA, — I  missed  seeing  you  in  the  hurry 
of  departure.  What  a  wonderful  two  days  we  had.  I 
hope  to  come  again  next  Saturday. 

I  have  just  received  a  second  wonderful  gift.  Some 
days  ago  I  was  given  a  beautiful  green  enamel  and  rose 
diamond  pin  of  Lord  Edward's.  Yesterday  an  unknown 
— letter  enclosed  and  please  keep  it — sent  me  a  beautiful 
seal  that  belonged  to  him.  Herewith  is  an  impression 
of  it. 

Get  well  darling,  give  my  best  love  to  little  Dick. — Ever 
your  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

456 

To  his  Mother 

35  PARK  LANE, 
May  9th,  1902. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  am  getting  on  very  well  ; 
much  better  each  day.  But  Roose  will  not  give  me  leave 
to  travel  in  this  weather.  It  is  most  provoking.  If  the 
wind  changes  I  shall  take  the  law  into  my  own  hands. 
If  it  does  not  I  must  submit.  Nothing  can  make  amends 
for  losing  these  two  Sundays  with  you  and  Guy.  When 
he  and  Minnie  are  with  you  in  London  I  shall  keep  all 
my  evenings  clear  and — under  the  new  rules — drop  in  to 
8  o'clock  dinner  most  nights. 

The  bitterness  here  and  darkness  are  beyond  belief. 
I  hope  you  will  take  great  care  of  your  chest  in  these 
fiendish  winds. 


TO  CHARLES  T.  GATTY  47 

Pamela  dropped  in  yesterday  looking  very  well  and 
composed.  I  also  see  a  good  deal  of  Papa. 

Hugh  Cecil  made  a  magnificent  speech  on  the  Education 
Bill. 

You  must  not  be  disappointed  if  the  Boers  when  they 
meet  on  the  15th  May  create  all  kinds  of  difficulties. 
They  are  slim  and  slow  and  will  argue,  delay,  break-off 
again  and  again  in  order  to  get  all  they  can  for  the  little 
they  have  to  offer.  None  the  less  it  will  in  the  end  spell 
Peace. 

Best  love  to  all. — Your  most  loving  son,         GEORGE. 

457 
To  Charks  T.  Gatty 

IRISH  OFFICE, 
OLD  QUEEN  STREET,  S.W.,  26/6/02. 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — It  is  long  since  we  met.  I  always 
want  your  company,  but  exceptionally  at  times,  such  as 
this,  when  the  companionship  of  most  is  an  added  burden. 
Please  make  a  special  effort  to  see  me  Saturday  or  Sunday. 
Little  Percy  is  coming  up  from  Eton.  But  I  wish  parti- 
cularly to  see  you  for  a  serious  talk  on  Catholic  University 
and  allied  projects.  You  might  be  able  to  help. 

I  suggest  Saturday  or  Sunday  lunch,  and  a  good  '  pow- 
wow '  in  Kensington  Gardens. — Yours  affectionately, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

458 

Private 

To  Charles  T.  Gatty 

SOth  June  '02. 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — Your  letter  has  crossed  with 
mine.  The  common  and  '  scooped  sand-dunes,'  with  the 
quest  of  pigmy  arrowheads  from  10  a.m.  to  7.30  or  8  p.m., 
is  a  great  discovery.  Let  me  never  hear  again  of  Alpine- 
climbing  or  golf. 

Do  not  let  my  letter  of  yesterday  perturb  you.     Come 


48  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

and  stay  when  you  can  ;  before  Saturday,  if  you  want  to 
see  Lettice  and  Sibell.  I  have  a  matter  of  '  great  pith 
and  moment '  in  which  the  Catholic  University  plays  an 
important  part.  But  no  more  of  that  till  we  meet. 

Your  letter  about  '  real  life  '  with  pines  and  birds,  has 
given  me  a  reflected  glory  which  impels  me  to  write.  I 
now  (11  a.m.  Monday)  go  down  into  the  pit  from  which 
I  emerge  on  Friday  at  5.30  p.m. 

So  far  I  have  next  Friday  night  free. 

Percy  was  up  Saturday  to  Sunday.  We  did  the  Zoo 
with  Bendor,  Shelagh,  Cuckoo  and  Shaf tesbury  in  the  after- 
noon. In  the  evening  we  had  a  large  family  dinner ; 
fed  an  exhausted  Bishop  of  Stepney ;  and  afterwards 
with  the  help  of  Tony  S.  and  Mrs.  Arkwright,  got  through 
some  '  Arundel '  to  a  Harpsichord. 

Next  Autumn,  if  all  goes  well,  should  be  a  time  of  deep 
interest  to  me  in  Ireland.  I  am  marshalling  many  con- 
verging movements.  But  what  gives  me  hope  is  that 
battalions  and  forces  for  which  I  am  in  no  way  responsible, 
keep  turning  up.  Fate  is  calling  and  the  appointed  hour. 
See  Maeterlink  on '  Luck  '  passim.  Say  nothing  to  nobody, 
but  come  and  listen  to  my  tale. — Yours  affectionately, 

GEORGE  W. 

459 

To  his  Mother 

HOUSE  OP  COMMONS, 
July  Uth,  1902. 

DARLING  MAMMA, — Many  thanks  for  your  letter.  Dear 
Lord  S.  has  sloped  away  with  characteristic  '  insouciance.' 

The  papers  are  very  ignorant  of  constitutional  procedure. 

What  is  called  a  Prune  Minister  or  Premier  does  not 
exist  constitutionally. 

The  Sovereign  has  the  right  to  send  for  anyone  and  to 
ask  him  to  *  form  an  administration.'  If  he  succeeds  he 
is  Prime  Minister  until  he  dies  or  resigns.  When  he 
resigns  he  advises  the  Sovereign  to  send  for  some  one  else. 
In  the  more  usual  case  of  resignation  after  defeat  in  the 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  49 

House  or  at  the  Polls  he  advises  the  Sovereign  to  send  for 
the  leader  of  the  opposite  party.  When  that  happens 
everybody  realises  that  one  Government  or,  properly, 
Administration  has  come  to  an  end  and  that  another  must 
be  formed. 

But  when,  as  now,  he  resigns  and  advises  that  one  of 
his  supporters  should  be  sent  for  the  same  holds  good. 
Arthur  could,  in  theory,  appoint  new  men  to  all  the  offices. 
We  only  go  on  by  grace  and  for  convenience. 

Of  course  he  will  do  nothing  of  the  kind.  His  first  act 
was  to  secure  Chamberlain  and  Devonshire  and  to  try 
and  secure  Beach. 

Nobody  knows  how  big  the  shuffle  will  be  or  when  it 
will  begin  :  not,  I  imagine  before  the  9th  August. 

I  hope  they  will  do  it  then  as  the  Press  paragraphs  and 
expectant  eyes  of  aspirants  are  neither  of  them  very 
pretty. 

Love  to  darling  Manenai. — Your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

460 

To  his  Mother 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
PH<ENIX  PARK,  DUBLIN,  September  5th,  1902. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  loved  your  birthday  letter. 
We  had  a  rush  of  '  divarsion  '  here  during  horse-show 
week  and,  even  now,  the  house  keeps  pretty  full,  especially 
at  meals. 

It  is  a  great  joy  to  have  Dorothy,  who  wears  delightful 
clothes  and  wreaths  and  looks  very  pretty. 

We  ride  in  the  morning  with  a  dear  collie  dog,  Chief, 
who  barks  and  pretends  to  hunt  the  cows  and  jumps  up 
at  our  horses'  noses. 

Then  people  come  to  lunch  and  dinner  and  we  talk  of 
nothing  but  Ireland. 

I  am  absorbed  in  my  work.  Ireland  is  more  interesting 
than  at  any  time  since  — 87.  There  is  more  to  win  and 
lose  in  the  next  six  months  than  ever  before.  A  certain 

VOL.  II.  D 


50  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

amount  of  fighting  is  necessary  to  prevent  them  from 
bullying  each  other.  But  with  that  there  are  better  hopes 
of  a  larger  peace  than  I  have  seen. 

I  have  bombarded  the  new  Chancellor,  Ritchie,  with 
memoranda  and  have  boiled  down  all  that  can  be  done 
into  a  simple  comprehensive  policy :  that  can  be  stated 
on  a  sheet  of  notepaper. 

To-morrow  I  go  to  stay  on  an  island  near  Cork  with 
Penrose  Fitzgerald.  On  Monday  to  Fota  with  Barrymore. 
On  Tuesday  Sibell,  Perf,  self  and  the  Lyttons  visit  the 
Cork  Exhibition  and  lunch  with  the  Lord  Mayor. 

Wednesday  to  Adare  and  back  Thursday.  I  doubt  if  I 
shall  get  to  the  West :  perhaps  for  a  day  to  Kin  Cassia 
in  Donegal  from  Baron's  Court  and  Belfast. 

We  are  all  very  well  and  occupied.  But  I  long  for 
you  to  be  here.  You  must  come  next  September.  By 
then  it  may  be  that  the  clouds  of  Coercion  will  have 
broken  and  that  some  results  of  work  will  begin  to  be 
visible. — Ever  your  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

461 
To  Mrs.  Drew 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
October  1th,  1902. 

MY  DEAR  MARY, — I  will  '  crystallise '  the  letter  (of 
March  27)  and  work  in  your  suggestions.  ...  I  go  to 
London  Wednesday  night  for  Cabinet  on  9th.  The  early 
meeting  of  that  body  has  telescoped  a  fortnight's  work 
into  a  week,  so  that  I  could  not  answer  before. 

I  am  full  of  sorrow  for  much  that  goes  on  here,  but  far 
fuller  of  hope  for  much  that  will  go  on  ;  and  sooner  than 
I  dared  to  hope.  Mayo  is,  as  you  say,  a  '  brick,'  and  so 
are  many  on  both  sides,  if  they  only  knew  how  to  apprise 
each  other  of  the  fact.  Sometimes  I  almost  wish  to  be 
out  of  office  so  as  to  speak  and  write  all  that  is  in  my  mind. 
I  wished  you  could  have  been  with  us  in  the  Far  West 
the  other  day.  I  took  Sibell,  Minnie  Ebury,  Lytton, 
and  Secretaries,  by  7  a.m.  train  to  Mallaranny  in  Clew 


TO  MRS.  DREW  51 

Bay ;  they  all  behaved  beautifully — getting  up  at  5.30, 
as  of  course,  preserving  astonishing  appetite  for  coarse 
food,  and  maintaining  the  temper  of  Angels. 

Sibell  was  a  revelation  to  the  Cotters  in  their  Hovels, 
full  of  beasts  and  filth.  On  Achill  they  said  4  We  have  seen 
many  ladies  but  you  are  the  first  that  has  been  kind  to 
us.'  I  took  them  out  to  Clare  Island,  back  to  Mallaranny, 
and  then  at  5  p.m.  steamed  round  Achill  Head  and 
anchored  at  9.30  p.m. 

I  had  effected  a  concentration  of  Chairmen,  Board  of 
Works,  Fishery  Commissioners,  Engineers,  etc.  It  was 
splendid  to  see  them  thaw  and  then  glow  and  shine. 

I  started  8  next  day  from  the  ship ;  rowed  ashore, 
drove  7  miles  to  Belmullet,  saw  the  Priest,  set  down  the 
'  Board  of  Works  '  on  the  spot,  and  then  drove  on  through 
Erris  to  the  most  man-forsaken  wilderness  God  ever 
continued  to  remember.  If  I  told  one-tenth  of  what  it 
is,  I  should  be  condemned  as  a  sentimental  idiot ;  there 
are  no  fences,  no  roads,  and  typhus  fever  most  years. 
I  drove  and  walked  all  day :  they  want  so  much  help 
and  direction ;  they  are  quite  outside  politics ;  do  not 
know  the  name  of  their  Member,  some  of  them.  I  got 
back  to  Belmullet  at  6.15,  and  there  behold  two  depu- 
tations, and  finally  a  bonfire  and  a  speech  (!)  to  the 
crowd. 

I  keep  all  this  to  myself  as  the  newspapers  are  too  idle 
and  malicious.  We  got  to  the  shore  about  8.30  and  were 
carried  pick-a-back  to  the  boat  through  50  yards  of  water, 
to  go  to  the  ship  about  9  p.m.  It  was  a  day  never  to  be 
forgotten,  and  ought  to  give  me  enough  '  steam '  and 
guidance  to  get  something  done  at  last. 

The  next  day  was  peerless  :  an  opal  sea,  the  sun  rising, 
a  crimson  sphere,  clean  out  of  his  bath,  and  the  cone  of 
Slievemore  suspended,  like  Japan's  Fuziyama,  high  in 
heaven  over  the  faint  mist.  So  I  took  a  header  into  the 
Atlantic  at  6.30  and  swam  through  the  opal  waters.  We 
started  at  7.30  and  did  all  we  had  to  do,  steaming  across 
Blackrock  bay,  and  then  cruising  up  a  creek  for  miles 
in  the  boat.  The  sticky  Engineer  became  ecstatic 


52  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

and,  one  way  or  another,  these  people  shall  get  their 
chance. 

Sibell  started  with  me  by  7  a.m.  train  the  next  morning 
and  visited  Foxford  for  five  hours  on  the  way  back.  Since 
then  I  have  been  immersed  in  the  '  Land  Question  * 
here. 

I  have  great  faith  and  believe  the  time  has  nearly  come. 
Archbishop  Walsh  wrote  a  Christian  letter  to  to-day's 
paper  and  the  Landowners'  Convention  is  beginning  to 
help. 

Forgive  this  outburst. — Ever  your  friend, 

GEORGE  W. 

462 
To  Mrs.  Drew 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
October  7th,  1902. 

Bless  you  for  your  letter.  It  has  by  natural  grace 
turned  £5  into  £10,  and  that  only  as  an  index  to  other 
things  of  far  greater  import  which  it  multiplies  by  larger 
factors  than  by  a  little  2. 

Let  there  be  no  more  W's  or  D's  after  either  of  our 
names. 

Dunraven  has  weighed  in  with  a  fine  letter  on  Land* 
The  pace  here  is  becoming  delirious,  so  that  London,  even 
with  Cabinet,  will  seem  a  stagnant  pool. 

Nothing  permanent  can  be  done  here  until  we  settle 
the  Land  and  Catholic  Higher  Education.  I  am  up  to 
my  neck  in  both,  and  up  to  my  knees  in  the  next.  You 
ought  to  watch  a  paper  here  called  the '  Daily  Independent.' 
It  is  beginning  to  represent  the  sane  men. 

No  tune  now  for  more  than  thanks  from  the  heart. 
I  should  love  to  see  you  and  talk  as  on  that  Spring  morning 
in  the  Dutch  garden  at  Eaton. 

I  too  have  been  longing  for  Kipling.  .  .  .  Walter  Scott 
made  Scotland. 

With  fervent  thanks  and  hope. — Ever  yours, 

GEORGE. 


TO  MRS.  DREW  58 

463 

To  Charles  Waldstein 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
November  8th,  1902. 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — The  '  Argive  Herseum  '  is  magnifi- 
cent ;  a  noble  gift  and  token  of  friendship.  I  thank  you 
with  all  my  heart  and  shower  congratulations  on  the 
achievement  of  such  splendid  work.  Some  day  I  must 
get  to  Cambridge.  Just  now  I  am  passing  through  a 
critical  time.  Ireland  is  more  plastic  now  than  at  any 
period  I  recollect  since  1887.  Many  there  are  growing 
weary  of  barren  conflict.  They  should  now  turn  to 
fruitful  work  '  without  prejudice,'  to  further  constitutional 
and  economic  strife.  My  plain  duty  is  to  make  this  easy 
by  giving  protection,  avoiding  offence,  and  '  laying  nest 
eggs  '  of  encouragement  to  self-help  in  industrial  enterprise. 
But  this,  dear  Charles,  for  the  time  absorbs  me  body  and 
soul. — Ever  your  friend, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

464 
To  Mrs.  Drew 

PARK  LANE, 
November  22nd,  1902. 

'  Jog  to  the  elbow  '  or  not,  your  letter  was  most  welcome. 
For  it  makes  me  write  as  children  say,  '  a  real  letter,'  in 
succession  to  many  imaginary  ones  despatched  to  you  by 
my  mind  and  heart  during  the  last  six  weeks. 

In  the  midst  of  O'Brien's  uproar  I  wanted  to  tell  you 
that  the  '  hissing '  and  the  rest  of  it,  made  no  shadow  of 
difference  to  what  I  stated  in  my  last  letter  after  my 
plunge  into  the  Atlantic.  I  have  a  conviction — almost 
superstitious — that  from  October  of  this  year  the  change 
in  Ireland  has  begun. 

I  hope  you  approve  my  appointment  of  Sir  Antony 
MacDonnell  ?  I  took  that  as  a  test  of  my  superstition. 


54,  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

It  was  a  difficult  thing  to  get  done.  On  one  night  in 
September  I  thought  I  had  failed.  But  I  returned  to 
the  charge  and  won.  The  '  Westminster '  and  all  the 
Liberal  papers  are  behaving  very  well. 

Sibell  and  self  go  to  Windsor  to-day  till  Monday  with 
Arthur  Balfour  ;  this  also  will  help. 

I  should  love  to  see  you.  Oughtn't  you  to  come  to 
London  before  Christmas  ? 

465 

To  his  Father 

i 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
PHCENIX  PARK,  DUBLIN,  December  17th,  1902. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  was  right  in  my  impression  of 
the  run  on  Tuesday.  It  has  already  ceased  to  be  the  run 
of  the  season  and  became  historic.  The  pundits  of  the 
chase,  after  careful  comparison,  give  it  the  record,  till 
now  held  by  the  Warrenstown  run  of  years  ago,  of  which 
the  track  is  traced  and  framed  in  Harry  Bourke's  house. 
They  now  say  that  we  went  13£  miles  as  the  crow  flies 
and  22  as  hounds  ran. 

I  only  rode  for  one  hour  and  persisted  for  another 
twenty  minutes  at  a  trot  on  the  roads  etc.  The  real 
point  was  that  we  galloped  for  53  minutes.  After  that 
they  muddled  on  for  three  hours  in  all  and  the  fox  saved 
his  brush  because  every  horse  was  stone  cold. 

It  was  just  like  my  luck  to  fall  into  a  historic  run  at 
the  first  draw  of  my  season.  The  legend  of  it  is  expanding 
day  by  day.  Next  week  it  will  be  a  twenty  mile  point  I 
Luckily  I  did  not  know  that  the  third  fence  was  a  noted 
chasm.  It  appears  that  we  jumped  the  Ratoath  dram 
and  the  Sutherland  double  in  the  first  six  fences.  That, 
at  the  delirious  pace  we  maintained  for  fifty  minutes, 
with  one  hover,  accounts  for  the  fact  that  one  hundred 
and  fifty  people  never  saw  us  again. 

But,  on  my  bay  horse,  Martin,  I  was  sublimely  uncon- 
scious ;  only  realising  that  I  had  attained  felicity. 

To-day,  with  the  Kildares,  we  had  a  fair  hunting  run ; 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  55 

forty-three  minutes  from  find  to  kill  in  the  open  from 
Betaghstown  Bog,  by  Clane  to  Bella  villa. 

I  rode  Michael  and  he  jumped  '  like  the  book  of  Arith- 
metic.'— Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

466 

To  his  Mother 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
PH<ENIX  PARK,  December  22nd,  1902. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — This  is  to  send  all  love  to  you 
and  Papa  and  Ditch  and  Bun,  all  wishes  for  Christmas 
and  1903. 

We  are  here  alone,  S.  S.,  Perf  and  I  and  very  restful 
and  happy.  It  is  the  first  time  we  have  been  alone  for 
years. 

I  hunt  to-morrow  with  the  Meath.  I  am  fighting  for 
a  holiday  between  now  and  the  New  Year  and  hunting 
is  my  only  chance.  Unless  I  am  definitely  out  hunting 
people  come,  even  from  Belfast,  to  take  their  chance  of 
seeing  me. 

The  enclosed  will  interest  you  from  Lady  Bloomfield  !  ! 
I  wrote  her  an  official  answer  and  also  a  covering  letter  to 
*  My  dear  Godmother  '  in  which  I  truthfully  told  her  that, 
oddly  enough,  I  had  at  Bowood  the  day  before  talked 
of  her  in  a  conversation  on  God-mothers  and  cited  a 
mechanical  duck  which  she  gave  me  and  which  I  sailed 
on  the  pond  at  Petworth. 

She  wrote  me  a  very  nice  letter  in  reply — left  in  London 
— saying  she  was  eighty  years  old  and  would  like  to  see 
me  and  sending  much  love  *  to  dearest  Madeline  '=you. 

I  had  a  cheery  letter  from  Guy  who  had  seen  Aunt 
Conny  Leconfield,  Bendor  and  Shelagh. 

Ian  Hamilton  talked  of  him  to  me  in  the  train  c  off  his 
own  bat.'  I  think  we  may  rest  assured  that  they  know 
his  value. 

This  Country  is  going  nicely  into  the  bit  just  now  and 
I  begin  to  hope  that  by  next  August  I  shall  be  able  to  show 
it  you,  bending  in  a  discreet  manege  canter. 


56  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

The  inside  work  of  Cabinet  and  so  forth,  has  been  very 
interesting  lately.  I  find  that  I  have  to  check  a  recrud- 
escence of  my  old  foible  in  childish  days  when  I  wanted 
to  be  stage  manager  of  every  play.  But  I  do  check  it 
and  enjoy  being  behind  the  scenes  even  though  not  allowed 
to  play  the  tomb  scene  in  pitch  darkness. 

I  look  forward  to  Fridays  to  Mondays  in  February  and 
March.  We  will  count  the  daffodils  together. — Ever  most 
loving  son,  GEORGE. 


To  Mrs.  Drew 

Confidential.  CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 

January  4th,  1903. 

MY  DEAR  MARY  DEAR, — I  am  in  such  high  spirits  that 
I  must  deliberately  reproduce  an  accident  in  a  previous 
effort  to  spell  your  name.  I  have  just  read  an  advance 
copy  of  the  Report  of  the  Land  Conference.  It  is  full 
of  good  sense  and  good  feeling.  The  dry  bones  can  live. 
The  sun  I  saw  rise  as  I  swam  in  the  Atlantic  was  a  sign. 

This  I  know  is  the  '  hot  fit.'  But  we  see  more  clearly 
when  the  hot  fit  is  on  us.  The  cold  fit  jaundices  our  eyes. 

I  am  well  aware  that  I  am  only  a  third  or  a  quarter  of 
the  way  on  this  quest.  But  then,  how  inconceivable  it 
seemed  to  most  people  a  year  ago  that  we  should  ever 
get  so  far.  I  feel  like  the  Old  Woman  in  Pamela's  '  Village 
Notes  '  who  saw  in  golden  letters  at  the  foot  of  her  death- 
bed *  Thou  shalt  not  die  but  live,'  and  added,  '  And  I 
didn't  die!  Hived!  Hived!' 

Sibell  brought  me  your  letter  of  the  1st,  and  I  thank 
you  for  its  dear  messages.  I  was  positively  engaged  at 
the  time  on  reconnoitring  the  proofs  and  transcripts  of 
Ruskin's  letters.  You  shall  have  a  Preface  soon  as  a 
New  Year  gift,  and  thank-offering  for  the  way  we  are 
making  here. 

Antony  MacDonnell  is  a  trump  ! 

All  Blessings  on  you. — Ever  yours  affly. 

GEORGE  W. 


TO  HIS  FATHER  57 

468 
To  Mrs.  Drew 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
January  19th,  1903. 

Yesterday  being  Sunday,  I  tried  to  reverse  the  engines 
from  Land  and  Catholic  University  into  your  '  Porch  ' 
Preface.  But  the  wheels  slid  round.  To-day  something 
of  sorts  did  come  which  you  shall  have  by  to-morrow's 
post.  I  wish  I  could  have  done  better.  Tear  it  up  if 
you  are  displeased  :  dissatisfied  you  must  be.  But  the 
task,  though  slight,  was  not  easy.  The  letters  are  so 
delicate  ;  the  excerpts  from  your  Father's  journal  and  the 
two  letters  to  Carlyle  and  Alfred  so  hard  to  fit  in,  that 
anything  ponderous,  or  even  coherent,  would  have  seemed 
out  of  place.  I  did  not  scamp  the  work  and  doubt  if  I 
can  improve  it  under  present  circumstances.  So  tear  it 
up  without  a  qualm,  or  if  you,  finding  bad  gaps,  can 
suggest  the  kind  of  additions  needed,  indicate  them  and 
I  will  supply  to  specification. 

20th  Jan.  '03.  I  forgot  to  say  the  Preface  would  run 
to  about  12  pp.  in  print.  It  is  an  amorphous  Crystal 
after  all. — Yr.  GEORGE. 

If  I  manage  a  day  at  Eaton  on  the  way  to  House  of 
Commons,  I  shall  hope  for  you  in  the  Dutch  garden. 

469 
To  his  Father 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
PHOENIX  PARK,  DUBLIN,  January  21st,  1903. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — Mr.  '  Puffinger '  [his  son]  is  now 
*  free  of  the  craft.'  Yesterday  he  rode  a  horse  of  Dudley's, 
called  '  Wexford  '  with  the  Meath.  Walter  Lindsay  (left 
in  charge  of  Dudley's  horses)  piloted  him.  We  did  not 
have  a  good  day  ;  but  lots  of  jumping  near  Dunshaughlin, 


58  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

Perf  jumped  everything  and  I  was  very  pleased.     To-day 
he  rode  '  Moyglare,'  with  the  Ward. 

We  went  fast  and  straight  for  forty  minutes  over  really 
big  places  including  two  whacking  doubles,  one  with  a 
very  narrow  bank,  also  a  veritable  Alp  into  a  road  and 
some  wide  '  rivers.' 

I  never  supposed  that  he  could  have  kept  up.  But  in 
less  than  two  minutes  after  the  check,  Puffinger  arrived 
his  face  beaming,  eyes  flashing,  hat  bashed  in,  wet  up  to 
the  waist  having  taken  an  imperial  toss  over  the  narrow 
double ;  caught  his  horse  and  come  on  again,  using  a 
cutting  whip  at  all  the  big  '  leps.'  Walter  Lindsay  said 
that  he  really  rode  the  horse  grandly. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

470 

To  Monsieur  Auguste  Rodin 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  OFFICE, 
PHCENIX  PARK,  DUBLIN,  25.1.03. 

MON  CHER  AMI, — Je  ne  saurais  dire  combien  de  plaisir 
et  d'orgueil  j'ai  ressenti  en  lisant  votre  lettre  si  pleine  de 
sympathie  et  d'amitie. 

J'ai  fait,  du  reste,  tres  peu  de  choses  a  Londres  pour 
meriter  de  tels  remer9iments. 

Mais  votre  lettre  est  d'autant  plus  chere  puisqu'elle 
provient  de  votre  bonte  plutot  que  des  pauvres  services 
que  j'ai  pu  rend  re  pour  t^moigner  mon  devouement  aux 
beaux  Arts  dans  la  personne  d'un  grand  maitre.  Je  conte 
aussi  avec  ardeur  sur  la  joie  de  vous  serrer  la  main  au 
printemps. — Tout  a  vous,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

471 

To  his  Mother 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  OFFICE, 
DUBLIN  CASTLE,  Sunday,  January  25th,  1903. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — A  thousand  thanks  for  the 
beautiful  '  Victory.'  I  could  not  guess  from  whom  it 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  59 

came  and  only  discovered  just  before  your  letter  to  Sibell 
arrived.  Robertson  had  written  to  say ;  but  his  letter 
was  opened  by  secretaries  who  assumed  that  I  knew  from 
you.  One  wing,  alas  !  had  come  off,  broken.  So  she 
is  a  *  winged  '  Victory  in  more  senses  than  one  and,  there- 
fore, far  more  like  such  victories  as  we  win  here  and  more 
likely  to  prove  a  true  emblem  and  harbinger.  And, 
besides,  Sibell  says  she  can  mend  the  wing  with  milk, 
and  this,  also,  would  be  normal.  She  is  very  beautiful 
and  buoyant :  the  Nik6  of  Samothrace  who  stood  on  the 
prow  of  a  war-galley. 

I  began  to  spell  *  buoyant '  the  wrong  way.  That 
reminds  me  that  Dermot  (Mayo),  when  drafting  the  final 
Report  of  the  Land  Conference  during  Dunraven's  absence, 
put  down  his  pen  and  asked,  '  How  do  you  spell 
"  grievance  "  ?  '  eliciting  the  exclamation  '  You  're  a 
nice  Irishman  not  to  know  how  to  spell  grievance  ! ' 

I  had  three  days  hunting  last  week  and  am  glowing  with 
health  in  consequence.  This  sounds  idle.  But  the  fact 
is  I  have  got  far  ahead  of  colleagues  in  London  and  leaders 
of  sections  here.  So  I  must  pull  up  and  wait. 

On  Tuesday  in  the  hunting-field  I  saw  a  stranger  whom 
it  was  impossible  to  classify :  impeccably  dressed  in 
scarlet  and  leathers,  with  a  port -wine  coloured  hunting- 
collar.  Yet  he  was  '  foreign  ' ;  though  with  a  shrewd 
clean-shaved  face  and  twinkling  Irish  eyes.  I  heard  he 
was  an  American  master  of  hounds.  He  rode  desperately 
hard.  I  got  myself  introduced  and  found  he  was  Mr. 
Collier,  master  of  hounds  in  New  Jersey,  staying  with 
John  Watson,  and  buying  all  his  horses  from  him.  I 
asked  him  to  dine  and  found  he  had  been  a  poor  Irish  boy 
who,  aged  twelve,  hunted  on  a  donkey  with  Watson's 
father  in  Carlow.  He  went  to  America,  became  the 
greatest  publisher  (!)  there ;  paying  £60,000  a  year  in 
wages.  He  told  me  that  he  knew  and  liked  Percy  Wynd- 
ham  [cousin]  and  had  mounted  him. 

Percy  Wyndham  came  to  stay  here  yesterday,  so  I 
asked  Collier  too  and  had  an  '  Industrial  Revival '  dinner 
last  night :  Collier,  the  successful  emigrant  who  rides 


60  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

hard  ;  Percy,  our  diplomatist  at  Washington,  La  Touche, 
the  manager  of  Guinness  Brewery ;  Father  Finlay,  the 
chief  supporter  of  Horace  Plunkett  in  co-operative  farming, 
industries  etc.,  Pirie,  the  brains  of  Belfast  ship-building, 
and  Hanson.  We  sat  at  the  table  till  10  to  11  p.m.  and 
I  never  assisted  at  a  keener  symposium. 

They  are  all  beginning  to  catch  my  optimism.  The 
Chief  Justice  makes  jokes  about  the  Millennium  from  the 
bench.  The  lion  frisks  with  the  lamb.  The  serpent  coos 
from  a  branch.  The  dove  says  there  is  a  good  deal  of 
pigeon-nature  in  the  serpent  after  all. 

How  long  will  it  last  ?  I  hope  until  I  have  started  other 
projects  to  engage  everyone's  attention,  excite  their  hopes, 
and  stimulate  their  generous  emulation.  But,  as  I  said, 
for  the  moment  I  must  make  a  4  check '  and  give  them 
tune  to  breathe. 

Steeds  told  me  a  good  story  on  that.  A  wild  young 
rough-rider  in  Limerick  had  been  pounding  everyone, 
riding  very  jealous.  The  hounds  checked.  He  de- 
liberately trotted  into  the  middle  of  the  pack  and  began 
circling  round  and  round  through  them.  4  My  God  1 ' 
cried  out  the  next  man  to  arrive,  4  Are  you  mad  ?  '  '  No,* 
was  the  answer,  '  I  'm  beat,  and  I  'm  dispersing  the  dogs. 
You  '11  none  of  ye  go  on.' 

There  are  Cabinets  on  Friday  6th  and  Saturday  7th. 
This,  for  your  private  information  in  case  anything  takes 
you  or  Papa  up  to  London  at  the  time. 

Love  to  all. — Your  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 


472 
To  Mrs,  Drew 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
February  2nd,  1903. 

MY  DEAR  MARY  DEAR, — '  How  you  do  go  it ! ' — that 
is  a  quotation  from  a  song  about  a  blackbird.  In  the  rush 
here  your  letter  only  came  to  me  through  Secretaries, 
late  last  night.  To-day  I  am  meditating  a  revised  version 


TO  WILFRID  WARD  61 

of  the  Psalms  :  *  O  that  my  friend  would  write  a  preface 
that  I  might  correct  his  proofs  and  leave  no  opportunity 
for  revision.' 1 

I  wired  the  printers  to  await  my  revise.  Perhaps  it 
is  too  late.  If  so,  no  matter.  If  not,  I  am  introducing 
a  fair  compromise  on  your  emendations,  etc.,  etc.  There 
is  a  hopeless  misprint — Parsonian  for  Porsonian.  A 
playful  allusion  to  a  well-known  story  of  Porson,  who 
slipped  up  and  sat  down  when  trying  to  open  his  hall 
door,  and  said  '  D — n  the  laws  of  Nature  ! '  Otherwise 
all  may  stand,  and  I  think  I  have  behaved  very  well. 
Indeed,  I  am  glad  and  grateful  to  you  for  liking  it 
at  all. 

They  have  just  shown  me  a  joyous  passage  in  to-day's 
'  Irish  Society.'  '  Lady  MacCalmont  has  presented  a 
monkey  to  the  Zoological  Gardens.  It  is  her  son  who 
has  inherited  the  MacCalmont  Millions.' 

This  would  have  pleased  Ruskin  and  your  Father. 

The  blackbird  song  runs  : 

'  O  Blackbird,  what  a  boy  you  are, 

How  you  do  go  it ! 
Blowing  your  bugle  to  a  star, 
How  you  do  blow  it ! ' 

So  we  who  love  Ireland  will  blow  our  bugle  to  a  star. 


473 

To  Wilfrid  Ward 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

March  20th,  1903. 

MY  DEAR  WILFRID, — Your  letter  comes  at  a  moment 
when  such  a  letter  impresses  and  encourages. 

I  am  keeping  quite  still  and  saving  every  *  ion '  of 
vitality.  As  Bowles  once  put  it  in  the  House  I  mean  to 

1  Note  by  Mrs.  Drew. — I  corrected  and  altered  his  proofs  and  sent  them  to 
publisher  with  orders  to  print,  if  hearing  nothing  to  the  contrary  from  author, 
within  twelve  hours. 


62  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

stay  here  '  and  pull  down  the  blinds  to  create  the  impres- 
sion that  I  have  gone  to  Margate.' 

Still,  if  you  and  Mrs.  Ward  would  just  look  in  at  tea- 
time  Saturday,  and  Sunday,  I  should  love  to  grasp  your 
hand. 

I  have  been  quite  surprisingly  harassed  up  to  the  last 
moment  by  embarrassing  suggestions  and  fatal  counsels 
of  timidity. 

So  I  have  '  sported  my  oak.'  It  is  going  to  be  a  very 
hard  fight  but  I  do  hope  to  win  and  take  courage  from  the 
date  '  Lady-day.' — Yours  ever,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 


474 

To  Charles  Boyd 


35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

24.iii.03. 


MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — I  have  just  lifted  a  diluted  glass 
— for  I  am  in  training — to  *  the  Bond.'  Your  letter 
has  given  me  pleasure  and  encouragement.  '  What  a 
phrase  ! '  '  Christ ! '  as  Will  H.1  would  put  it,  '  what 
a  phrase  ! '  But,  and  let  this  damp  your  ardour  (if  need 
it  must)  I  am  qua  (cf.  C.  R.2)  phraseology  in  a  Mid- 
Victorian  mood. 

To-morrow  I  must  '  imprimis  '  be  understood  by  Irish 

Patriots  and  City  brokers:  by  s  (cf.  Will  H.'s 

vocabulary).  And  to  be  intelligible  is  a  serious  enterprise, 
a  desperate  adventure. 

If  I  may  put  it  in  an  Irish  way,  on  a  First-Reading- 
Speech,  Ebullitions  must  be  submerged.  Underneath  my 
cautious  and  platitudinarian  diction  there  will  be  many 
tacit  phrases  and  '  quotes  '  sub  voce.  To  wit. 

4 1  believe  that  a  benignant  spirit  is  abroad,'  etc.  See 
William  Wordsworth.  Or,  since  it  is  Lady  Day,  and  my 
Lady's  Birthday,  all  sorts  of  pretty  words  which  I  shall 
be  thinking  but  not  saying.  Or,  since  we  are  talking  of 
Land  and  "  good -will  "  to  a  "mixed  congregation."  '/n 
terra  Pax  hominibus  bonae  voluntatis.' 

1  W.  E.  Henley.  2  Cecil  Rhodes. 


TO  MRS.  DREW  €3 

Of  these  things  I  shall  be  thinking — I  shall  speak 
of  *  paramount  interest '  and  '  flotations  below  par ' ! 
Consols  at  90  !  My  God  .  .  .  and  so  on. 

Seriously,  dear  old  Charles,  I  have  had  a  worse  time  than 
any  of  you  suspect.  There  have  been  desperate  encounters 
protracted  to  the  last  moment.  But  the  '  Bell  rings ' 
and  after  all  I  am  there. 

Understand  that  the  future  of  Ireland,  my  future — for 
what  it  is  worth — and  the  grouping  of  parties  on  the  next 
turn  of  the  kaleidoscope  all  do  turn  on  what  happens 
to-morrow. 

Yours  ever — in  the  bond — and  do  drop  in  to  dinner  here 
at  8.  G.  W. 

Chief  of  the  Bond. 


475 
To  Mrs.  Drew 

PARK  LANE, 
March  26th,  1903. 

I  must  write  one  word  to  you.  Many  people  have 
telegraphed  and  written  good  wishes  to  the  Land  Bill. 
*  Many  thanks '  have  been  telegraphed  to  each.  But 
in  obedience  to  an  instinct  I  must  write  to  you,  although 
there  is  nothing  to  say  except  that,  so  far,  the  miracles 
go  on  ;  so,  I  believe,  it  is  not  a  case  of  '  asking  for  a  sign.' 
They  rain  on  the  hope. 

Some  things  are  eternal.  I  may  be  beaten,  although 
I  mean  to  win.  But,  if  I  am  beaten,  the  wonderful 
unanimity  remains :  the  good  sense  and  goodwill  of  so 
many  people  remain.  The  four  Dublin  papers  are  quite 
extraordinary. 

We  must  pull  it  through.     And  there  is  more  to  follow. 

Immediately  you  will  see  a  project  of  private  enterprise 
by  great  capitalists  to  help  in  the  matter  of  transport  for 
Irish  produce,  of  which  I  have  assurance  that  America 
will  underwrite  the  loan  for  three  years. 


64  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

476 
To  Charles  T.  Gatty 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
Sunday,  5th  April  1903. 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — Look  in  to  lunch  if  you  are  free. 

T.'s  1  letter  is  encouraging.  I  am  looking  forward  to 
Wednesday  as  a  real  treat  and  rest.  You  and  T.  see 
things  and  feel  them  as  I  do.  With  all  the  others — 
except  Arthur  Balfour — Irish  or  English,  there  is  so 
much  else  of  politics  and  commerce  mixed  up. 

They  are  sincere  and  honest,  and  so  on  ;  but  they  have 
not  the  single  desire  that  men,  women  and  children 
should  be  happy  and  hopeful  in  Ireland,  and  the  single 
belief  that  this  can  only  be  by  the  Grace  of  God  and  not 
by  our  ingenuity  and  industry. 

It  will  refresh  me  to  be  with  you  two. 

May  I,  then,  be  spared  the  American  ? 

I  have  had  so  much  of  that  kind  of  thing  lately,  that  I 
don't  think  I  can  stand  any  more  before  getting  a  holiday. 

It  does  some  good,  but  at  the  expense  of  how  many 
'  canards  '  I ! — Yours  affectionately,  GEORGE  W. 


477 
To  Mrs.  Drew 

PARK  LANE, 

April  7th,  1903. 

I  am  enchanted  with  the  book  in  its  smooth  green 
binding,  and  very  proud  to  have  had  a  hand  in  it. 

The  reference  to  '  Lady  Day  '  in  the  preface  and  c  Why 
rushed  the  discords  in  but  that  Harmony  should  be  prized,* 
seem  now  prophetic. 

I  thank  you  and  bless  you. 

1  T.  Healy. 


TO  SIDNEY  C.  COCKERELL  65 

478 

To  his  Sister,  Madeline 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

8tfi  May  1903. 

MOST  DARLING  MANENAI, — I  can't  say  what  joy  your 
letter  gives  me.  I  am  sending  it  on  to  S.S.  The  whole 
business  *  surprises  by  itself.'  My  speech  does  not  matter. 
But  even  on  that  the  same  miraculous  spirit  worked. 
I  never  in  all  my  life  felt  less  able  to  speek.  I  am  a  wreck 
after  Influenza,  and  the  three  days  on  the  bench,  without 
exercise  or  appetite  and  with  actual  sickness  from  sequelae 
of  influenza,  made  me  feel  that  I  could  not  rise  at  the  fence. 
I  had  prepared  one  speech  and  made  another.  But  the 
air  was  electrical  and  though  I  did  not  know  what  I  was 
saying,  it  felt  quite  easy  and  inevitable  all  through. 

May  God  grant  that  there  will  be  *  a  new  light  set  in 
the  eyes  of  dark  Rosaleen.'  That  end  of  Healy's  speech 
made  me  gulp.  Do  you  know  Mangan's  poem  from 
which  he  quoted  ? — Your  most  loving  brother, 

GEORGE. 

479 
To  Sidney  C.  Cockerell 

BABRAHAM, 
CAMBRIDGE,  14  May  1903. 

DEAR  MR.  COCKERELL, — My  father  sent  me  '  Letters 
to  Ireland  ' 1 — given  to  him  by  you. 

I  have  been  here  to  *  pick  up  '  after  the  influenza.  In 
the  few  minutes  that  remain  before  I  start  to  replunge, 
let  me  say  : — 

(1)  That  peasant-proprietors  afford  the  best,  perhaps 
the  only,  form  of  community  in  which  there  is  now  scope 
for  all  that  you  desire.  They  will  receive  delight  from  the 
processes  of  the  year  and  return  it,  during  long  winter 
months,  in  beautiful  handiwork,  but  (2)  their  handiwork 
cannot  receive,  any  more  than  their  crops,  that  due  meed 

1  The  pamphlet  referred  to  was  written  by  Lady  Margaret  Sackville. 
VOL.  II.  E 


66  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

of  security,  food  and  raiment,  unless  it  can  be  brought  to 
market  by  organised  transport  at  fair  rates.  (3)  Unless 
it  is  brought  to  market  it  cannot  influence  the  world. 

No  man,  or  community,  can  live  unto  itself  alone.  If 
cut  off  from  the  Human  Race  he,  and  they,  wither. — 
Yours  very  sincerely,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

P.S. — Ireland  is  going  to  revolutionise  America,  and 
America  the  World. 

480 
To  his  Father 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
Tuesday,  June  2nd,  1903. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — We  go  to  France  to-morrow. 
I  am  not  going  to  rush  about  or  see  things.  Our  plan  is 
to  get  away  to  see  leafage  in  June  weather.  So  we  go  to 
Amiens — a  short  journey — and  on  to  Compiegne.  There 
I  shall  spend  three  quiet  days  in  the  Forest  and  simply 
exist. 

I  send  you  a  good  letter  from  Perf  about  the  terrible 
fire  at  Eton.  Sibell  went  there  to-day.  Percy  says  that 
Kindersley,  the  master,  was  magnificent.  Arthur  Ellis 
who  met  Sibell  told  her  that  all  the  boys  in  and  out  of 
Kindersley's  house  behaved  splendidly.  Nobody  lost 
his  head.  But  for  this  many  would  have  been  burned. 
All  the  bars  were  taken  away  to-day.  It  took  the  carpenter 
an  hour  to  remove  them  from  one  window  in  Percy's  house. 

The  tune  has  not  yet  come  for  me  to  discuss  the  Tariff 
problem  fully.  My  modest  hope  is  to  adjourn  that  tune. 
The  worst  battles  are  those  in  which  the  advance  guard 
is  prematurely  committed. — Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 


481 
To  his  Son 


HOUSE  OF  COMMONS, 
25th  June  '03. 


DARLING  LITTLE  PERF, — Your  Mamma  is  much  con- 
cerned at  your  Ascot  performance.     I  am  very  sorry  that 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  67 

you  went  after  the  new  regulations  (absence  at  4  and  6) 
which  make  it  a  more  serious  offence  than  in  old  days, 
I  imagine.  You  are  sensible  enough  not  to  do  foolish 
things. 

Your  Mamma  says  she  has  written  suggesting  that  you 
should  tell  Mr.  de  Havilland.  You  must  decide  on  this 
for  yourself.  It  may  be  that  to  do  so  might  get  the  others 
into  trouble.  In  that  case  it  may  be  right  to  say  nothing. 
You  must  be  the  judge. 

But,  of  course,  if  you  are  asked  a  question  by  anyone 
who  has  the  right  to  ask  it,  your  tutor  or  House-master, 
or  other  person  in  authority,  you  will  simply  tell  the 
truth  about  yourself. 

The  Land  Bill  is  going  on  well.  Don't  spoil  my  pleasure 
in  that  by  doing  silly  things.  But,  anyhow,  come  to  me 
if  you  ever  get  into  a  scrape. — Your  most  loving  PUPS. 


482 
To  his  Mother 

MADRESFIELD  COURT, 
MALVERN  LINK,  June  2Gth,  1903. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — Imagine  my  going  off  yester- 
day without  giving  you  a  hug  for  your  birthday  !  It 
was  all  I  could  do  to  catch  the  train  as  I  was  very  sleepy 
after  my  speech.  I  used  Papa's  story  about  the  singer 
with  great  effect  and  all  the  other  quotations. 

I  thought  of  you  a  great  deal  yesterday  and  we  had  one 
surprise  in  bird-life  which  you  would  have  enjoyed. 
Sibell,  or  Letty,  said  after  lunch  *  what  an  extraordinary 
bird  there  is  on  the  lawn.  Is  it  a  young  pheasant  ?  ' 
We  looked  and  saw  that  it  had  a  red  back  to  its  head, 
dark  cheeks  and  a  long  bill  which  it  kept  driving  into  the 
ground.  We  got  glasses  and  watched  it  from  a  window 
not  twenty  yards  off.  It  was  the  big  woodpecker  !  I 
had  never  seen  one  before  and  there  he  was  on  the  lawn 
quite  close  to  us.  If  only  we  had  possessed  a  camera 
we  might  have  won  a  prize  in  '  Country  Life.'  He  was 


68  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

huge — nearly,  if  not  quite,  as  big  as  the  white  doves  on 
the  lawn  with  him.  I  stalked  him  afterwards  and  put 
him  up  three  yards  from  my  feet.  As  he  flew  away  his 
back  was  quite  green  and  his  head  crimson.  Then  I 
examined  the  ground  and  saw  that  he  had  been  driving 
his  bill  an  inch  into  the  earth  to  eat  ants  in  the  beginnings 
of  ant-heaps.  So  there  is  no  doubt  about  him. 

I  shall  look  in  about  12.20  on  my  way  to  the  office. 
With  many,  many  many  happy  returns  to  us  all  of  your 
birthday. — Ever  darling,  your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 


483 

To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
PH<ENIX  PARK,  25  July  1903. 

DARLING  PAM, — I  must  begin  a  letter  to  you  to-day — 
perhaps  finish  it — as  you,  more  than  anyone  else,  will 
appreciate  the  dramatic  and  pathetic  completeness  of 
the  triumph  which  the  King  and  Queen  have  won  in 
Irish  hearts.  You  love  them  because  you  have  a  fountain 
of  loyalty  in  you  which  must  gush  out  if  it  is  allowed  a 
channel.  That  is  just  how  it  is  with  the  Irish  and  how  it 
has  ever  been.  But  they  have  hardly  ever  been  given  a 
channel  for  their  loyalty.  In  all  history  the  only  sove- 
reigns who  ever  tried,  even,  to  be  Kings  to  them  were 
John,  Richard  n.,  and  George  iv. ;  a  sorry  trio.  But 
the  Irish  loved  them  ;  the  first  two,  to  failure  and  death  ; 
the  last,  until  he  turned  on  them  or  from  them,  and  threw 
in  his  lot  wholly  with  Orange  uncouthness.  I  exclude 
James  n.,  because  he  only  went  to  Ireland  to  fight  for  his 
own  crown  and  failed  to  do  that. 

To  begin  at  the  end,  the  situation  was  summed  up  this 
morning  by  a  little  girl,  one  of  the  thousands  and  thou- 
sands of  children  who  for  days  have  done  nothing  but 
smile  and  cheer  and  wave  and  yearn  towards  the  King 
and  Queen.  She  said  to  the  philanthropist  who  was 
marshalling  them  for  the  last  goodbye — '  I  am  so  glad 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  69 

that  we  may  love  the  King  now  because  he  spoke  so 
nicely  about  the  Pope.' 

I  revert  to  the  beginning  and  the  simple  narration  of 

things  as  I  saw  them. 

26  July  1903. 

On  Monday  20th,  I  caught  the  Irish  mail  (8.45  p.m.) 
from  the  House  of  Commons,  found  it  full  of  Irish  notables, 
(laid  down  4  hours  sleep  to  have  it  in  hand)  and  was  met 
at  Holyhead  by  a  naval  officer  in  a  white  cap.  We 
climbed  across  a  couple  of  ships  to  a  steam  pinnace  and 
waited  for  the  King's  messenger  in  the  second  half  of  the 
mail.  The  waning  moon  hung  low  with  a  planet  for 
pendant.  The  transparent  sky  paled  towards  dawn. 
The  iron-clads  seemed  grey  monsters  in  the  distance. 
At  last  the  second  half  droned  in,  a  string  of  lights,  and, 
with  our  King's  messenger  and  despatch  boxes  aboard, 
we  ripped  through  the  dawn-tinted  glassy  sea  out  to  the 
Royal  Yacht,  with  the  grey  monsters  for  her  advance 
guard.  My  cabin  was  large,  with  pretty,  clean  chintzes 
and  pale  blue  silk  duvet  on  the  berth.  It  was  too  beauti- 
ful to  sleep.  I  watched  the  daylight  grow,  or  Torpedo- 
catchers  tear  by  like  nightmares  ;  heard  the  clock  strike  4 
and  5,  and  dropped  off  to  the  sound  of  weighing  anchor. 
I  woke  at  7  to  a  sense  of  discouragement.  The  fairy 
serenity  of  overnight  and  dawn  had  changed  to  grey  skies, 
grey  seas,  white  horses  and  pitiless,  plunging  rain.  Through 
the  mist  and  torrents  the  grey  monsters  on  either  side 
moved  on,  ignoring  the  waves.  The  Kish  lifeboat  danced 
foolishly  in  a  flutter  of  many-coloured  bunting,  and 
popped  off  two  two-penny  guns  whose  smoke  merged  in 
the  mist  and  surf. 

I  bathed,  dressed  in  uniform  with  medals  and  Patrick 
badge,  longed  for  breakfast,  met  Lds.  Knollys,  Churchill, 
Admiral  Stevenson,  Condie  Steevens,  etc.,  all  more  or 
less  in  uniform,  and  all  longing  for  breakfast.  The  rain 
still  fell,  but  less  relentlessly.  I  could  not  forego  the  entry  ; 
so  mounted  to  hurricane  deck  and  watched  the  greater 
herd  of  grey  monsters — all  the  Channel  and  Home  Fleets 
— reaching  in  a  giant  avenue  out  to  sea.  We  passed 


70  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

between  .them.  Each  was  manned,  and  from  each  a 
bugle  blew  as  we  passed.  The  rack  began  to  lift.  Watery 
gleams  spread  and  contracted,  to  spread  again  through 
the  French-grey  and  chalky  leadenness  of  the  clouds  over 
the  Wicklow  mountains.  Kingstown  a  mile  ahead  blazed 
with  bunting,  like  beds  of  geranium  and  calceolaria,  with 
numberless  white  yachts  within  the  moles.  Torpedo- 
catchers  again  ploughed  by,  and,  at  last,  breakfast. 

We  began  this  with  an  awkward  mixture  of  free  and 
easy  help-yourself — added  to  attentions  from  powdered 
footmen  in  scarlet  liveries.  Nobody  was  at  ease.  The 
ladies  looked  as  if  it  was  earlier  than  usual.  Knollys 
asked  me  what  I  thought  of  the  Pope's  death.  The 
rain  still  fell,  but  now  in  jewels.  An  empty  place  at 
the  head  of  the  table  next  me  had  three  substantial 
silver  dishes,  covered,  in  front  of  it.  A  hasty  signal 
from  Churchill  warned  me  off  them  and  to  the  side- 
board for  my  food.  As  I  returned  in  came  the  King, 
fresh,  happy,  most  kind,  in  uniform,  and  everybody 
was  at  their  ease.  The  Pope's  death  and  the  weather 
did  not  matter  so  much. 

He  ate  well,  looked  well,  spoke  well.  '  The  Pope's 
dead,  of  course  we  had  expected  it.'  .  .  .  'A  boiled  egg.' 
.  .  .  *  Did  you  sleep  well  ?  '  .  .  .  l  Some  more  bacon.' 
.  .  .  '  You  are  my  Minister  in  attendance  as  well  as  Chief 
Secretary,  you  know.'  .  .  .  And  so  on  with  greatest 
kindness,  good  sense  and  calm,  monumental  confidence 
that  everything  does  go  right. 

With  but  20  minutes  to  spare  before  landing,  but 
without  a  trace  of  effort  or  fuss,  I  found  myself  smoking 
a  cigarette  with  him,  altering  the  reply  to  the  Kingstown 
address  under  his  instructions ;  getting  it  type-written, 
countermanding  the  Theatre,  writing  and  telegraphing 
to  Cardinal  L  >gue,  sending  a  communique  to  the  Press, 
all  as  if  there  was  any  amount  of  time  and  no  difficulties 
and  the  kindness  beaming  every  moment  more  benignant 
and  all-embracing. 

Off  I  went  in  a  steam  pinnace,  landed  under  an  awning 
of  white  and  old  gold  in  stripes  eighteen  inches  wide. 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  71 

On  the  wide  red  carpet  were  Duchess  of  Connaught,  two 
little  princesses  and  Lady  Dudley  in  chairs ;  Dudley  and 
Vice-Regal  Court,  the  Deputation,  and  beyond  State 
carriages,  escort,  soldiers,  crowds,  grand-stands  packed, 
and,  to  the  booming  of  salutes  from  all  the  grey  monsters, 
the  King's  barge  of  deep  navy  blue  with  a  huge  Royal 
ensign,  was  pulled  up  by  12  blue-jackets.  It  was  the 
first  of  many  moments  that  thrilled. 

We  drove,  mostly  at  a  walk,  through  11  miles  of  bunting 
and  cheering  crowds  ;  growing  denser  and  more  vociferous. 
It  culminated  in  the  triangular  space  bounded  by  Trinity 
College  and  the  old  Parliament  House.  My  companions 
of  the  English  Court  began  to  admit  that  the  people 
were  really  there  and  really  jubilant.  Every  window  and 
housetop  was  packed.  The  Bands  took  up  '  God  save 
the  King  '  for  mile  after  mile  ;  the  colours  fell  flat  in  the 
mud  as  the  Sovereign  passed.  They  cheered  me  a  good 
deal,  and  the  Land  Bill  and  Wolseley  and  Bobs.  As  we 
reached  the  Vice-Regal  the  sun  went  in  and  the  rain, 
poured  down.  The  King  and  Queen  shook  hands  with 
us  all,  seeming  as  ever  to  be  in  no  hurry  and  only  engaged 
in  making  every  one  happy. 

This  and  the  prolonged  roar,  blare,  glare,  glitter  and 
glamour  of  two  variegated,  agitated,  sonorous  hours, 
telescoped  the  long,  grey  expectation  of  the  morning,  so 
that  Kingstown  and  the  Fleet  became  old  memories,  and 
the  moon  over  Holyhead  Harbour  an  experience  in  another 
life.  (Aside  to  Pamela)  '  I  doubt  whether  a  letter  on 
this  scale  can  be  finished — However.  .  .  .' 

At  my  Lodge  I  found  Sibell,  Ormonde,  Constance 
Butler,  Dunraven  and  Lady — vague  as  usual ;  and  Col. 
Brock,  the  Queen's  Equerry,  and  many  more,  then  or 
later,  for  I  have  no  recollection  of  the  people  who  have 
slept  and  fed  here. 

Tuesday  evening  we  dined  at  Vice-Regal  Lodge  with 
the  King  and  Queen.  I  sat  next  to  Princess  Victoria. 
She  is  good,  gentle  and  sensible  and  absolutely  unselfish. 
We  had  great  fun  ;  Lady  Gosford  on  my  right ;  the  Queen 
giving  us  little  nods  and  smiles,  pretending  to  be  shocked 


72 

and  being  amused  at  our  laughing  and  chatter.  Lady 
Gosford,  wife  of  an  ultra  landlord,  has  made  friends  with 
me,  and  frankly  acknowledges  that  the  people  do  cheer 
the  King  more  than  in  Scotland  or  London.  The  Queen 
talked  to  me  after  dinner  and  is  delicious. 

Wednesday  22nd.  Started  at  10  a.m.,  with  Ormonde 
in  full  fig,  sociable  and  pair,  etc.  Was  cheered  on  the 
way.  Chaffed  Ormonde  for  being  in  infantry  uniform. 
He  explained  that  he  was  Colonel  of  the  Kilkenny  Militia, 
'  a  fine  lot  of  rebels,  but  they  fought  wonderfully  well  in 
South  Africa.' 

In  St.  Patrick's  Hall,  Arthur  Ellis  and  others  coached 
us.  I  knew  my  part  pretty  well,  but  it  is  a  strain  to  cling 
to  the  King's  reply  and  learn  up  all  the  deputations  in 
their  order.  There  were  82  of  them.  The  roar  of  cheersr 
'  God  save  the  King,'  clatter  of  the  escort,  and  we  process 
and  group  ourselves  about  the  Throne.  I  stood  on  the 
steps  and  presented  each  of  the  82  deputations.  They 
were  to  present  the  addresses.  But  they  did  anything 
but  that ;  shook  the  King's  hand  and  marched  off  with 
address  under  arm  ;  were  retrieved  and  address  extracted. 
The  last  touch  came,  when  the  spokesman  of  the  Land 
Surveyors  touched  the  tip  of  the  King's  fingers,  shot  the 
address  into  the  waste-paper  basket  (into  which  I  threw 
the  cards  after  calling  the  names)  and  bolted  at  five 
miles  an  hour.  The  Queen  was  very  naughty  and  did  her 
best  to  make  me  laugh,  so  that  my  next  was  delivered  in 
quavering  tones.  Yet  the  Queen  did  this  in  such  a  way 
as  to  make  everyone,  including  the  culprit,  feel  comfortable 
and  witty.  I  cannot  adequately  express  the  kindness 
and  coolness  of  the  King.  He  coached  them  in  a  fat, 
cosy  whisper  '  Hand  me  the  address,'  and  then  accepted 
it  with  an  air  and  gracious  bow,  as  if  gratified  at  finding 
such  adepts  in  Court  ceremonial. 

The  only  people  who  approached  him  in  simplicity 
and  charm,  were  the  two  carmen  who  presented  an  address 
signed  by  1200  jarveys.  Only  the  Irish  can  do  these 
things.  They  had  not  put  on  Sunday  best,  but  their 
best  ordinary  clothes,  scrupulously  brushed.  They  never 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  73 

faltered  and  invented  something  between  a  bow  and  a 
curtsey  that  seemed  exactly  appropriate. 

After  that  a  levee  of  1500.  We  all  got  tired  ;  for  the 
sun  beat  in  on  our  eyes.  It  did,  however,  come  to  an  end. 
There  was  just  time  to  get  back,  lunch  and  change  into 
frock  coat,  then  off  to  Vice -Regal  to  see  the  King  at 
3.30.  He,  in  no  hurry  and,  if  possible,  with  greater  kind- 
ness, discussed  many  points  which  had  arisen,  suggested 
emendations  in  replies,  all  of  them  happy  and  dead  on 
the  Bull's  eye.  At  4  p.m.  I  started  with  King,  Queen  and 
Princess  Victoria.  He  has  always  made  me  drive  in  their 
carriage.  The  enthusiasm  of  the  crowd  was  even  greater 
than  on  Tuesday.  For  3  miles  to  Trinity  one  roar  of 
cheers  and  frenzy  of  handkerchiefs.  Every  woman  with 
a  baby  in  Dublin  was  there  to  jump  him  up  and  down  at 
the  King  ;  every  ragged  urchin,  every  sleek  shopkeeper — 
every  rough,  every  battered  old  Irish- woman  with  jewel 
eyes  in  wrinkled  Russian  leather  face.  They  do  not 
say  '  God  save  the  King  '  as  we  do,  anyhow.  They  lift 
their  hands  to  Heaven  to  imprecate  '  God  BLESS  the 
King,'  as  if  adjuring  the  Deity  to  fulfil  their  most  ardent 
desire  and  His  most  obvious  duty.  You  may  have  read 
of  Trinity.  The  papers  did  not  repeat  the  drive  back. 
We  returned  by  Sackville  Street — the  finest  in  Dublin — 
and  here  the  people  became  merely  delirious.  They 
worked  themselves  into  an  ecstasy  and  all  sang  '  God 
save  the  King.'  The  Queen  kept  pointing  to  this  or  that 
tatterdemalion  saying '  The  poorer  they  are,  Mr.  Wyndham, 
the  louder  they  cheer.'  We  went  on  through  the  poorest 
parts  by  North  Circular  road,  and  ever  and  always,  there 
was  the  same  intense  emotion.  It  brought  tears  to  the 
Queen's  eyes,  and  a  lump  in  my  throat.  No  one  who  did 
not  drive  in  their  carriage  will  ever  know  how  mesmeric 
it  was.  It  made  me  understand  the  Mussulman  conquests 
and  the  Crusades.  For  here  was  a  whole  population  in 
hysteria.  Polo  was  still  going  on  as  we  neared  the  Vice- 
Regal  Gates  and — at  the  end  of  such  a  day — nothing  would 
serve  but  that  we  should  drive  on  to  the  grass.  The 
Queen  asked  them  to  play  an  extra  ten  minutes,  for  the 


74  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

game  was  over.  And  they  did  play  to  the  tune  of 
'  If  doughty  deeds  my  lady  please.'  Nobody,  how- 
ever, was  killed.  Though  in  one  charge  they  drove  a 
pony  on  to  the  rail,  and  turned  him  and  rider  head 
over  heels  into  the  spectators.  We  had  a  dinner  party 
that  night. 

Thursday  23rd.  Presented  colours  to  the  Hibernian 
School  of  little  soldier  boys.  And  then  to  the  Review. 
This  was  the  culmination.  We  rode  in  a  cavalcade  from 
the  Vice-Regal,  grooms,  escort,  etc.,  then  the  King  and 
Duke  of  Connaught.  He  asked  me  to  ride  just  behind  him 
with  Duke  of  Portland.  I  wore  my  Yeomanry  uniform 
and  rode  a  little  thoroughbred  mare  I  had  commandeered 
from  the  21st  Lancers.  As  we  started  the  royal  salute 
opened.  At  the  Gate  a  scene,  which  I  shall  never  forget, 
began.  The  Phoenix  monument  was  a  pyramid  of  mad 
humanity,  screaming,  blessing,  waving  hats  and  hand- 
kerchiefs, and  so  on  down  an  interminable  lane  of  frenzied 
enthusiasm.  I  love  riding  and  a  row  ;  but  never  before, 
or  again,  shall  I  witness  such  a  sight.  Some  people 
thought  it  dangerous.  But  our  blood  was  up  and  the 
King  paced  on  perfectly  calm  among  dancing  dervishes 
and  horses  mad  with  fear  and  excitement.  Even  the 
horses  of  the  Blues  got  quite  out  of  control,  rearing  and 
pirouetting.  It  looked  as  if  they  must  knock  the  King 
over.  But  as  they  plunged  towards  him,  the  Duke  of 
Connaught  or  Roberts  moved  between  and  Portland  or 
self  backed  up.  You  must  imagine  100  acres  of  green 
sward,  framed  by  trees,  with  the  mountains  beyond 
changing  under  shafts  of  light  between  storms  that  never 
burst.  There  were  thunderstorms  all  round ;  but  a 
sheet  of  burning  sunshine  on  the  review.  The  horses, 
maddened  by  the  cheers  from  a  Nation,  did  knock  down 
the  whole  of  the  Admirals  and  Captains  specially  invited 
from  the  Fleet.  We  rode  away  and  down  the  line,  my 
mare  just  behaved  with  enough  spirit.  And  now,  as  I 
tell  you  everything,  I  will  tell  you  two  things  that  pleased 
me.  Yesterday,  a  carman  said  to  me — '  We  knew  you 
in  your  uniform  and  watched  you  all  the  time  with  glasses 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  75 

from  the  wall.'  And  that  afternoon  the  Queen  said  to  me 
— '  How  beautifully  you  ride.'  She  knows  how  to  say 
what  will  please. 

Overnight  Osbert  Lumley  told  me  that  the  great  point, 
the  4  clou  '  as  they  say  in  France,  was  to  be  that  the 
cavalry  would  line  the  whole  route  back  to  the  Vice- 
Regal  gates.  This  nearly  settled  the  business.  The 
stupendous  cheering  and  surging  of  the  crowds  drove  the 
horses  out  of  their  senses.  Groups  screamed  at  us  out  of 
the  trees  overhead,  women  and  children  wriggled  through 
the  horses'  legs  to  get  nearer.  They  knocked  over  Arthur 
Ellis,  who  is  laid  up  with  gout  in  consequence.  A  Lancer's 
chestnut  horse  put  his  fore-feet  almost  on  to  my  shoulders. 
The  King  paced  on  and  lit  a  cigarette,  bowing  and  smiling 
and  waving  his  hand  to  the  ragamuffins  in  the  branches. 
That  finished  me  and  now  I  love  him.  When  we  dis- 
mounted he  laughed,  thanked  us  all,  and  beamed  enough 
to  melt  an  iceberg.  Sir  William  Ewart  said  to  me  that  he 
had  never  seen  such  enthusiasm  even  for  the  late  Queen. 
It  is  of  no  use  to  try  and  describe  it ;  but  a  great  possession 
to  have  been  there. 

In  the  afternoon  we  went  to  races,  in  the  evening 
to  dine  with  the  Connaughts.  It  was  memorable.  The 
avenue  to  the  Royal  Hospital  was  festooned  with  Chinese 
lanterns.  We  banquetted  in  the  great  Hall  of  old  oak, 
hung  with  armour.  We  sat  down  at  two  gigantic  round 
tables,  32  at  each,  laden  with  roses.  But  I  begin  to  tire 
and  so  do  you.  After  that  we  had  a  court  at  the  Castle. 
My  solace  and  keen  pleasure  was  to  stand  near  the  Queen. 
Her  Garter  ribband  brought  out  the  blue  of  her  eyes. 
Her  cramoisie  train  was  hung  to  her  shoulders  by 
great  jewels  of  dropping  pearls.  She  had  a  high  open- 
work lace  collar,  a  breastplate  and  gorget — you  may 
say — of  diamonds  and  ropes  of  round  pearls  falling  to  her 
lap.  And  she  is  an  Angel.  We  got  to  bed  about  3  a.m. 

Friday  24th.  This  is  described  in  the  papers.  We 
slummed  together  in  the  most  squalid  streets.  The  bare- 
legged children  and  tattered  members  of  the  submerged, 
hurra-ed  themselves  hoarse  and,  incidentally,  smashed 


76  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

Portland's  hat,  with  a  hard,  heavy  bunch  of  cottage 
flowers,  dog-daisies  and  sweet  peas  tied  up  to  the  con- 
sistency of  a  cabbage. 

But  this  is  enough.  We  went  to  Maynooth  in  the 
afternoon  by  train — see  papers — and  on  the  way  back, 
with  their  supernatural  kindness  the  King  and  Queen 
came  here  and  loitered  and  talked  and  thanked  and 
overpraised  and  made  me  love  them — just  as  if  they  had 
done  nothing  and  had  nothing  to  do  except  to  please 
Sibell  and  myself.  '  Kindness  like  this  is  genius  '  and  the 
line  as  Bossuet  wrote  it  may  stand  for  Her ;  only  it  is 
sweetness  as  much  as  beauty. 

In  the  evening  we  went  to  a  Party.  The  King  kept  me 
after  all  were  gone,  showed  the  most  eager  desire  to  under- 
stand every  twist  in  the  Labyrinth  of  Irish  life  and  was 
so  kind  to  me  that  I  cannot  speak  of  it. 

Yesterday,  we  saw  them  off,  and  I  agreed  in  sentiment 
with  an  old  Irishwoman  on  the  platform,  who  just  sobbed, 
saying,  '  Come  back,  Ah  !  ye  will  come  back  ! '  That 
was  the  cry  that  pierced  through  the  blaring  of  the  bands, 
and  the  Blessings  and  the  cheers.  '  Come  back '  they 
kept  calling  in  every  street.  And  these  are  the  people 
whom  some  call  disloyal. — Your  most  loving  brother, 

GEORGE. 

484 
To  his  Mother 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
PHCENIX  PARK,  DUBLIN,  August  23rd,  1903. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  loved  getting  your  letter 
and  am  truly  thankful  to  think  of  you  safe  and  sound  at 
Clouds.  We  are  here,  very  happy  together : — Sibell, 
Perf,  Minnie  and  old  Guy — alone  till  to-morrow  when  our 
Horse  Show  guests  arrive.  I  made  a  brilliant  recovery 
from  my  chill  and  think  that  it  economises  time  to  be 
definitely  ill  for  two  days  after  a  long  session.  It  rests 
me  and  starts  me  on  another  scale  of  easier  life. 

Darling  Minnie  and  all  of  us  had  great  disappointment 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  77 

this  morning.  Guy  has  not  got  his  extension  of  leave. 
It  is  purely  damnable.  On  the  other  hand,  Ned  Talbot 
says  16th  will  be  next  for  home. 

Our  party  has  expanded  in  the  most  extraordinary  way 
owing  to  nice  people  inviting  themselves.  We  shall  be 
Sibell,  Perf,  self ;  Guy,  Minnie,  Madge,  Geoffrey ;  Lord 
and  Lady  Rossmore ;  two  Secretaries,  '  Mr.  Ho.  and  Mr. 
Ha.' l  The  above  are  party  as  contemplated.  To  which 
add  Leinster,  and  Mr.  Victor  Corkran  asked  at  odd  moments 
and,  Shelagh,  Molly  Crighton,  Lady  Mab  Crighton  who 
invited  themselves  by  telegram.  So  we  rely  once  more 
on  the  elasticity  of  an  Irish  house. 

Guy  and  I  come  to  you  on  the  1st.  We  cannot  get  to 
you  on  the  31st  without  travelling  on  Sunday  night.  We 
could  shoot  Wednesday,  Thursday  and  Friday. 

Just  off  to  Church  at  Hibernian  school. 

I  am  very  happy  here  and  have  quite  broken  the  '  wheel 
of  thought '  in  my  old  noddle.  I  hope  to  cheer  Minnie 
up  with  horse-show  and  polo  and  races,  and  a  fiddler,  one 
evening,  for  Madge. 

The  Irish  climate  is  most  soothing. 

Thank  Papa  for  his  letter.  The  writer  in  the  *  Times  ' 
is  my  friend  Street,  who  knows  Pamela.  Papa  would 
delight  in  him.  He  was  one  of  dear  Henley's  young 
men,  clean  shaved,  chubby,  rosy-gilled,  sedate,  literary, 
humourous,  old  Tory  of  1745 ;  portentously  wise  in  all 
but  making  money,  a  ripe,  mellow,  preternaturally  old 
young-man  of  letters  who  might,  for  anything  you  can 
observe  to  the  contrary,  have  been  staying  last  week 
at  Crotchet  Castle. 

Have  you  ever  read  Peacock's  '  Crotchet  Castle  '  and 
4  Maid  Marian  ?  '  Peacock  was  Shelley's  and  Byron's 
4  Creeky-Peeky.'  '  Crotchet  Castle  '  shows  that  we  are 
no  more  modern  and  no  less  convinced  of  the  folly  of 
modernity  than  were  sensible  people  one  hundred  years 
ago.  Using  electric  lights  instead  of  wax-candles  makes 
no  difference  to  good  books,  good  company,  good  sense 
and  good  fellowship,  and  these,  after  all, — as  Arthur 

1  Mr.  Hornibrook  and  Mr.  Hanson. 


78  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

says  (very  often)  in  his  speeches — are  most  of  life  that  is 
worth  enjoying.  The  fourteen  professors  ought  to  have 
stayed  at  Crotchet  Castle  with  Street. 

Love  to  all. — Your  devoted  son,  GEORGE. 

P.S. — I  mention  *  Maid  Marian '  because  you  can  get 
it  in  one  volume  with  'Crotchett  Castle'  and  because  it 
was  written  at  the  same  time  as  '  Ivanhoe '  which  I  re- 
read in  bed  after  seeing  Coningsburgh — a  wonderful 
Donjon. 

485 

To  Monsieur  Auguste  Rodin 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

\st  September  '03. 

MON  CHER  AMI, — Puis-je  vraiment  conter  sur  une 
visite  de  votre  part  pendant  cet  Automne  ?  Je  serai 
chez  moi  en  Irlande  du  10  Septembre  jusqu'a  la  fin 
d'Octobre  :  trop  heureux  de  vous  recevoir  et  tout  dispose^ 
a  poser  pour  mon  buste. 
Mon  adresse  sera 

Right  Honble  George  Wyndham,  M.P., 
Chief  Secretary's  Lodge, 
Phoenix  Park, 

Dublin. 

Je  ne  puis  me  consoler  de  la  mort  si  triste  de  notre  ami, 
Henley.     C'etait  un  grand  Artiste  et  un  brave  coeur  mais 
pour  moi  surtout  un  ami  sans  pareil. 
Je  suis  toujours  a  vous,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

486 
To  Charles  Boyd 

Private  BBLLINGHAM  CASTLE, 

CASTLEBELLINGHAM,  IRELAND,  Qth  October  '03. 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — 

'  In  spite  of  all  temptations 
To  belong  to  other  nations, 
"  I  remain  " — as  you  see — an 
I-i-i-i-rishman ! ' 


TO  MRS.  DREW  79 

It  is  a  curious  development  that,  with  Exchequer, 
Colonies  and  W.O.  vacant,  I  should  feel  it  an  absolute 
duty  to  stay  here.  You  will  none  of  you — excepting 
yourself  and  dear  Henley  when  still  with  us — quite  under- 
stand how  imperative  is  my  duty  here. 

If  I  had  deserted  them  all,  the  work  since  A.  J.  B.  in 
'87-91  would  have  been  imperilled  and  the  tender  plant 
of  belief  in  our  sincerity  rooted  up,  not  even  to  be  sown 
again  until  after  another  weary  round  of  15  or  20  years. 
Now  it  thrives  and  is  beginning  to  shoot  out  the  frailest 
tendril  of  further  belief  in  the  Empire.  Will  it  some  day 
receive  and  shelter  the  birds  of  the  air  ?  I  do  not  know. 
But  just  now,  and  without  prejudice,  and  until  cause  is 
otherwise  shown,  and  with  all  the  qualifications,  reserva- 
tions, trepidations  you  can  suggest,  they  do  still  in  fact 
believe  in  me  and  tremble  toward  a  belief  in  the  Empire 
because  of  their  belief  in  me. 

By  '  they  '  I  mean  the  whole  lot — Unionist,  Nationalist, 
Celt,  Norman,  Elizabethan,  Cromwellian,  Williamite ; 
Agriculturist  and  Industrialist ;  Educationist  and  Folk- 
lorist.  What  more  do  you  want  ? — Yours  ever, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

487 
To  Mrs.  Drew 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
October  llth,  1903. 

...  I  re-visited  Mallaranny  and  recalled  my  '  plunge  * 
into  the  sea.  I  looked  back  upon  the  vicissitudes — 
greater  than  you  know — of  the  Land  Act  with  gratitude 
for  your  sympathy  of  a  year  ago.  The  Cabinet  crisis 
convinced  me  of  the  stress  your  Father  had  in  his  time 
to  face.  The  undoubted  and  growing  desire  of  many 
interests  in  Ireland  to  draw  together  and  treat  each  other 
in  a  more  kindly  and  reasonable  spirit,  and — though  I 
can  scarcely  breathe  it  to  you — the  resurrection,  in  all 
but  absolute  identity,  of  the  Irish  position  on  Catholic 
University  Education  which  your  Father  was  prevented 


80  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

from  turning  to  account — all  these  things  bring  from  day 
to  day  a  memory  of  you  to  my  mind  and  an  increasing 
wish  that  you  would  make  some  sign  of  friendship. 

Even  if  you  are  angry  with  us  all  politically,  that  would 
not  make  a  difference — would  it  ? 

Anyhow  your  Father's  Life  is  the  last  touch  and  I  must 
write.  I  wish  I  could  see  you.  I  stayed  here  to  work 
on  at  the  Land  Question  and  to  hope  for  another  miracle 
over  the  University  Question.  That  seemed  a  plain  duty. 
With  new  English  universities  in  Liverpool,  Leeds,  Man- 
chester (the  old  Victoria),  Birmingham  and  now  Sheffield, 
it  is  madness  to  leave  Ireland  once  more  behind.  It  is 
odious  to  do  so  out  of  spite  or  cowardice.  But  perhaps 
one  cannot  have  two  miracles  in  two  years. 

I  find  from  the  note  on  p.  223,  Vol.  i.,  that  you  are  my 
cousin,  my  fourth  cousin,  but  still  of  my  kin.  For  Sir 
W.  Wyndham  was  my  great-great-great,  and  apparently 
yours  also.  (He  was  Grandfather  to  Lady  Glynne)  That 
is  a  pleasant  thought. 

Be  very  dear  and  write  to  say  that,  Fiscals  or  no  Fiscals, 
you  hope  that  I  may  do  something  for  University  Educa- 
tion here.  But  do  not,  as  yet,  say  to  others  that  I  am  off 
again  after  dreams.  If  I  fail  I  shall  help  the  other  side 
when  they  come  in  to  right  this  ancient  wrong. 


488 
To  his  Father 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
PHCENIX  PARK,  DUBLIN,  October  I5th,  1903. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  have  been  commiserating  with 
you  very  much.  But,  as  you  say,  the  big  political  wigs 
are  providing  a  good  entertainment.  If  anything  were 
needed  to  expose  the  folly  of  those  who  cried  '  efficiency,' 
and  cried  for  '  business  methods  '  it  is  that  they  no  longer 
cry  for  these  things,  but  sit  down  in  the  stalls  to  enjoy 
a  down-right  rhetorical  hammer-and-tongs  set-to  between 
the  big  wigs.  That  is  what  Englishmen  enjoy  without 


TO  HIS  FATHER  81 

your  excuse  of  convalescence.  The  huge  blue-book  of 
statistics ;  the  speeches  by  manufacturers,  all  that  is 
expert  or  informed,  the  rival  theories  of  economic  schools, 
are  bundled  aside  to  a  general  '  Ah  '  of  relief  and  satisfac- 
tion, punctuated  by  '  go  it,  Joey,'  '  bravo  !  here  's  Rose- 
bery  in  the  ring  !  '  Even  the  War  Commission  report  is 
used  only  as  a  missile.  South  Africa,  the  Far  East, 
Morocco,  Ireland,  the  Navy  may  '  go  hang.'  Education 
was  all  very  well ;  but,  with  Nonconformists  who  can't 
fight  well,  or  won't  fight  fair,  it  pales  before  a  classic  cam- 
paign of  renowned  gladiators.  '  Heavy  pounding,  gentle- 
men, and  who  can  pound  longest '  is  the  one  consideration. 

This  instinct  of  Englishmen  is  probably  sound.  You 
must  drop  building  when  the  battle  begins.  I  prefer 
building  to  fighting.  But,  once  fighting  has  begun,  I 
believe  in  fighting  hard  in  order  to  get  it  over  and  get  on 
to  building  again.  Arthur's  '  little  ministry '  is  not  a 
bad  '  fighting  unit.'  Arnold  Forster  and  Graham  Murray 
are  good  men  on  the  platform.  Austen  Chamberlain 
carries  weight,  Selborne  is  pretty  useful.  Stanley  can 
rally  Lancashire.  I  mean  to  '  lift '  the  Irish  division  and 
Kent  brigade. 

I  have  written  to  all  my  new  colleagues  welcoming 
them  to  the  fray  and  suggesting  that,  for  the  present,  they 
should  not  busy  themselves  in  their  offices  but  stick  to 
hitting  the  other  side.  We  must  out -gun  the  enemy  in 
the  '  Artillery  Preparation '  during  the  Autumn ;  fire 
two  shots  to  their  one,  and  be  careful  not  to  mask  each 
other's  fire  by  speaking  on  the  same  day. 

If  the  press  backs  us  the  '  little  Ministry  '  will  win  as, 
to  compare  small  things  with  great,  Pitt  and  his  young 
friends  won  after  the  collapse  of  the  Rockingham  Whigs. 

My  Edinburgh  meeting  stands.  It  is  on  November  27th. 
But  I  feel  I  ought  to  give  my  own  constituents  the  first 
turn.  So  Sibell  and  I  come  to  England  on  Wednesday 
next,  21st,  and  on  Friday,  23rd  I  speak  at  a  Dover  Public 
Meeting.  On  28th  I  take  Primrose  League  Banquet 
there.  I  mean  also  to  speak  at  Cockermouth,  or 
Workington,  on  my  way  from  Edinburgh. 

VOL.  II.  F 


82  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

I  shall  be  careful,  of  course,  but  not  timid.  I  have 
'  cleared  the  deck,'  by  hard  work  of  Land  Act  administra- 
tion, etc.,  and  am  free  to  collect  ammunition  for  the 
campaign. 

My  Dover  friends  are  nervous  and  would  like  me  to 
postpone  the  public  meeting  until  after  the  municipal 
election.  I  do  not  agree.  I  am  all  for  slow  strategy  but 
do  not  believe  in  dilatory  tactics.  Once  within  striking 
distance,  hit  hard  and  hit  often,  and  the  more  so  if  you 
have  been  led  within  that  distance  sooner  than  your  own 
judgment  thought  it  wise 

We  shall  look  you  up  on  Wednesday  evening  or  Thursday 
morning.  —  Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

489 

Private. 

To  Moreton  Frewen 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
DUBLIN,  November  14£A,  1903. 


MY  DEAR  MORETON,  —  I  am  sorry  to  have  missed  you. 

I  am  disappointed  and  chagrined  by  recent  events. 
Nor  can  I  take  the  sanguine  view  that  the  Land  Act  will 
fulfil  the  objects  of  the  Land  Conference  if  it  is  to  be 
assailed  daily  by  the  '  Freeman,'  Davitt  and  Dillon. 
My  power  of  usefulness  to  Ireland  is  already  diminished 
and  may  be  destroyed. 

I  had  convinced  my  colleagues,  a  majority  of  our 
supporters  in  the  House,  and  a  still  larger  majority  in 
the  large  towns  of  England,  that  it  was  right  in  itself  to 
foster  Union  among  Irishmen,  and  to  obliterate  the 
vestiges  of  ancient  feuds  without  troubling  ourselves  about 
the  ultimate  effect  of  social  reconciliation  on  Ireland's 
attitude  towards  the  '  Home  Rule  '  VCTSUS  '  Union  ' 
controversy. 

And  this  is  set  back,  you  cannot  deal  with  the  '  University 
Question  '  or  the  '  Labourers  '  question  if  so  large  and 
beneficent  a  measure  of  the  Land  Act  is  to  be  used  only  to 
divide  classes  more  sharply. 


TO  MORETON  FREWEN  83 

Take  the  labourer's  question.  All  things,  in  the  end, 
turn  on  Finance,  the  resources  for  the  labourers'  Acts  turn 
ultimately  on  local  loan  stock.  That  stock  is  interwoven 
with  all  the  loans  of  municipal  corporations,  etc.,  etc. 
Our  credit  is  low. 

How  can  I  negotiate  for  better  terms,  extension  of 
period  of  repayment — not  to  mention  the  allocation  of 
any  savings  that  can  be  effected  in  the  cost  of  Irish 
Government — if  the  only  result  of  authorising  a  loan  of 
£100,000,000  at  2f  with  a  68  years'  period  of  redemption, 
is  to  produce  a  pandemonium  in  Ireland  ? 

The  English  are  very  jealous  of  the  Land  Act.  They 
want  credit  on  easy  terms  for  many  purposes — for  their 
own  labourers,  for  artisan  dwellings,  for  equalizing  ratec, 
for  municipal  schemes. 

Unless  those  who  care  for  Ireland  can  show  that  the 
Conference  and  Land  Act  have  produced  social  recon- 
ciliation, I  cannot  get  a  hearing  for  using  Imperial  credit 
and  Irish  savings  in  accordance  with  the  views  of  a  United 
Ireland. 

That  is  my  policy.  It  is  not  heroic.  But  it  would 
directly  be  of  great  benefit ;  and  indirectly  of  far  greater 
results.  There  is  no  scope  for  heroic  Finance  just  now. 

If,  however,  I  had  a  united  Irish  Party,  with  leaders 
not  subject  to  repudiation,  prepared  to  co-operate,  to  a 
certain  extent,  with  Irish  landlords,  scholars  and  business 
men,  I  could  get  Irish  savings  for  Irish  purposes  and 
equivalent  grants  whenever  England  helps  herself  too 
freely  out  of  the  common  Exchequer. 

My  point  is  that  I  get  beaten  in  detail  if  I  am  rebuffed 
by  jeering  allusions  to  Irish  reconciliation.  I  am  nearly 
tired  out. 

I  have  been  slaving  away  with  the  Treasury ;  with 
Trinity  and  the  Presbyterians  ;  with  the  Chairmen  of 
Irish  railways ;  and  had  hoped  to  be  in  a  position  to 
approach  Redmond — preferably  to  approach  not  only 
the  leader  of  the  Irish  Party,  but  something  like  a  larger 
conference — and  to  secure  the  united  action  of  Ireland  on 
Education,  allotments,  housing. 


84  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

Now — I  suppose — it  would  only  embarrass  Redmond 
to  meet  me,  or  correspond  on  these  matters.  And,  in 
any  case,  my  position  is  much  weaker  than  it  was  three 
weeks  ago,  because  Ireland's  position  is  weaker. 

So  long  as  Dillon  and  the  '  Freeman  '  show  that  their 
object  is  to  cut  down  the  incomes  of  the  landlords,  it  is 
impossible  to  deal  with  '  Evicted  Tenants  '  and  '  Con- 
gestion/ and  still  more  impossible  to  take  on  new  subjects. 

It  is  very  hard  on  Redmond  that  anyone  should  have 
made  capital  out  of  the  sale  of  his  estate.  O'Brien  ought 
not  to  have  left  him  without  warning. 

But  I  will  not  lose  heart.  There  is  a  bad  set  back.  I 
cannot  be  as  confident  as  I  was  of  having  much  to  offer, 
If  Dillon  persists  in  '  wrecking,'  the  credit  for  this  Land 
Act  will  not  expand  beyond  £5,000,000  a  year  to  the 
Orangemen,  and  their  allies  will  criticise  my  reductions 
in  the  police. 

To  put  it  shortly :  I  cannot  (1)  get  Imperial  credit ; 
(2)  make  and  keep  savings  for  Ireland  if  every  action 
taken  by  the  Government  on  the  advice,  and  with  the 
assent,  of  Irishmen,  is  used  only  to  attack  the  fortunes 
and  insult  the  feelings  of  those  classes  in  Ireland  whom 
the  great  majority  of  people  in  England  feel  bound  to 
protect. 

On  the  other  hand,  if  the  English  were  once  assured  of 
their  safety,  Parliament  would — I  believe — be  very  ready 
to  sanction  the  development  of  Ireland  on  Irish  lines. 
This  might  take  us  very  far  indeed  in  what  I  believe  to 
be  the  right  direction. 

The  two  countries  are  utterly  dissimilar,  both  in  their 
needs  and  their  resources,  and  above  all,  in  the  genius 
and  temperament  of  their  inhabitants. 

If  the  Irish  could  so  far  agree  as  to  demonstrate  the 
safety  of  threatened  classes,  and  to  allow  them  some 
place  in  local  government,  the  English  would  welcome 
that  fact  as  the  discharge  of  an  onerous  obligation,  and 
— as  time  went  on — admit  any  reasonable  consequences. 
— Yours  very  sincerely,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 


TO  HIS  FATHER  85 

490 

To  his  Father 

35  PARK  LANE  W., 

November  21st,  1903. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  am  not  surprised  at  your  inability 
to  follow  the  '  exits  and  entrances '  of  Irish  Leaders.  I 
understand,  but  it  is  not  easy  to  explain. 

Briefly,  there  are  two  fundamental  groups  in  Irish 
Nationalism:  (1)  The  political  descendants  of  the  'Young 
Irelander.'  They,  as  a  rule,  wish  to  improve  the  economic 
and  constitutional  position  of  Ireland  in  order  some  day, 
to  make  what  they  hold  to  be  better  economic  and 
constitutional  terms  with  England.  They  hate  the  Union 
and  hate  '  British '  ideas,  but,  as  a  rule,  would  like  to 
gather  up  all  the  personal  resources  of  Ireland,  Moderate 
landlords,  the  Bar,  the  Towns,  Commerce,  etc.  into  a 
more  harmonious  and  therefore  stronger  Ireland  hoping, 
immediately,  to  get  more  generous  financial  treatment 
and  acquiescence  to  Irish  modes  of  thought  e.g.  Protection, 
State-aid  to  Industry  etc.,  and  ultimately,  to  get  Home 
Rule,  or  a  large  measure  of  Local  Self  Government. 

(2)  The  second  group  are,  primarily,  Agrarian  Socialists 
and,  secondarily,  professional  agitators  who  attack  pro- 
perty and  sow  dissension  in  order  to  postpone  any  solution. 

Historically ;  Parnell  belonged  to  group  (1)  but,  for  a 
time,  fused  with  it  group  (2)  in  his  *  No  Rent '  agitation, 
in  order  to  *  kick  up  a  dust  *  and  collect  money  in  America. 

Per  contra,  O'Brien  belonged  to  group  (2)  but,  seeing 
the  misery  and  futility  of  Agrarian  Agitation,  joined 
Redmond  in  signing  the  Land  Conference  Peace. 

They  meant  to  go  for  Class  Reconciliation. 

But  Dillon,  who  is  a  pure  Agrarian  sore-head,  Davitt, 
who  is  a  pure  Revolutionary  Socialist ;  Sexton,  Editor 
of  the  '  Freeman,'  who  has  been  left  out  of  Parliamentary 
life  ;  joined  together  to  '  spike  '  conciliation.  The  high 
water-mark  of  Class  Conciliation  is  represented  by  the 
*  Irish  People  ' — O'Brien's  paper  of  November  7th. 


86  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

Immediately  after  publishing  that,  with  an  article  in 
it  by  Dunraven — praise  of  myself — the  substitution  of 
'  shamrocks  '  for  crossed  '  pikes  and  muskets  '  between 
the  paragraphs,  he  '  threw  up  the  sponge,'  resigned  and 
stopped  the  paper. 

This,  on  the  face  of  it,  is  bad.  But  it  has  frightened  the 
moderates  ;  and  I  am  re- weaving  my  web. 

The  Roman  Catholic  Church  wobbles  from  one  side  to 
the  other. 

Meanwhile  the  dynamic  finance  of  the  Land  Act  con- 
tinues to  operate  and  good  sense  will  win,  though  not 
quite  so  soon  as  I  might  have  hoped. 

Redmond  went  to  Limerick — a  city — and  was  well 
supported. 

His  fear,  and  the  fear  also  of  the  landlords  is  that  I 
may  resign  in  disgust.  It  is  all  to  the  good  that  they 
should  be  frightened.  But  I  have  not  the  slightest 
intention  of  taking  their  antics  to  heart  and  hope  that, 
in  some  ways,  all  the  pother  will  do  good. 

Just  for  the  moment  the  Irish  Government  is  the  only 
popular  and  powerful  force  in  Irish  life. 

This  shows  how  right  I  was  to  stick  to  Ireland.  If  I 
had  gone  elsewhere  O'Brien  would  have  resigned  and 
saddled  me  with  the  blame  for  leaving  him  and  Redmond 
alone  exposed  to  the  '  Freeman,'  and  Davitt  Dillon  &  Co. 

I  have  left  all  that  in  train  and  am  concentrating  on 
speeches  at  Edinburgh,  November  27th :  Workington, 
Cockermouth,  a  luncheon,  and  Liverpool. 

All  love  to  all  at  Clouds. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

491 

To  his  Father 

35  PARK  LANE,  W.f 

November  22nd,  1903. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — Are  you  reading  Morley's  '  Glad- 
stone '  ?  Vol.  i.  chapter  8,  and  especially  pp.  254  onwards 
will  interest  you  in  connexion  with  '  Fiscals.' 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  87 

It  seems  to  me  that  we  have  paid  the  penalty  of  a 
historical  muddle. 

Peel  did  do  a  great  thing. 

Finding  (i.)  a  deficit  for  three  cumulative  years,  (ii.) 
indirect  taxation  on  1200  articles,  (iii.)  a  corn  tax  pro- 
hibitive at  70/-  a  quarter,  (iv.)  stupid  aggravations  from 
the  wooden  operation  of  the  sliding  scale,  (v.)  the  operatives 
in  the  towns  at  the  mercy — in  the  age  of  sailing  ships  and 
undeveloped  continents — of  our  own  harvest ;  he  : — 

(a)  imposed  an  income  tax. 

(b)  worked  towards  a  fixed  duty  on  corn  at  8/-  (or  10/- 
no  matter). 

(c)  revised  the  taxes  intelligently  on  750  out  of  1200 
articles. 

That  is  great,  intelligent  work. 

We  want  to  get  back  to  a  like  intelligent  and  compre- 
hensive handling  of  these  questions  in  the  light  of  new 
conditions — developed  continents ;  steam  instead  of 
sails ;  reaping  machines ;  national  competition ;  bounties  ; 
trusts ;  dumping. 

We — in  a  sense — are  Peelites.  See  specially  Gladstone 
on  p.  262. — Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

492 

To  his  Mother 

ROSSHORE, 

MONAGHAN,  IRELAND,  December  23rd,  1903. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — This  is  to  wish  you  a  most 
happy  Christmas.  I  loved  your  letter  about  Bassen- 
thwaite,  and  Withup  Hill.  I  felt  it  intensely  too  and  was 
in  mind  a  boy  of  seven  to  fourteen.  I  think,  now,  that 
I  should  like  to  go  there  with  you  some  August  or 
September.  I  do  not  believe  that  either  you  or  I  have 
changed  much  inside,  if  at  all,  in  the  last  thirty  years. 
Anyway  ghosts  ought  not  to  be  unhappy.  The  fact  that 
there  are  only  a  few  ghosts  at  all,  apparently,  discontented 
about  trifles  seems  to  show  that  the  great  majority  of 
ghosts  are  very  happy  and  too  absorbed  in  iridescent 


88  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

recollections    when    they    revisit    immemorial    scenes    to 
trouble  about  manifesting  themselves  to  the  living. 

I  enjoyed  being  a  ghost  all  the  way  from  Penrith  to 
Workington  with  a  kind  of  inverted  home-sickness.  And, 
in  the  evening,  I  went  to  a  political  meeting  instead  of 
a  play  with  Mr.  Holland.  Otherwise  it  might  have  been 
the  last  day  of  the  holidays  in  -73,  -4,  -5,  or  -6. 

All  love  to  you,  most  Darling. — Ever  your  most  loving 
son,  GEORGE. 

493 

To  his  Father 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
PHCENIX  PARK,  DUBLIN,  Christmas  Eve,  1903. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  wish  you  a  happy  Christmas 
and  all  good  luck  in  the  New  Year.  Perf  and  I  had  a 
good  hunt  last  Saturday  with  the  Kildares  from  Enfield. 
He  went  very  well. 

In  the  hunting  field  several  landlords  and  tenants 
thanked  me  for  the  Land  Act.  It  is  winning  its  way 
slowly  but  steadily.  The  English  Press  seems  more 
ignorant  than  ever  of  all  that  happens  in  this  country. 
I  should  have  made  a  disastrous  mistake  if  I  had  left  in 
September. 

We  shot — Perf  and  I — two  days  with  Lord  Rossmore. 
Perf  shot  well.  I  saw  him  kill  five  rabbits  running  rapidly 
among  rocks  and  bracken  and  he  shot  two  woodcock. 
We  got  twenty-three  altogether  yesterday  and  a  bag  of 
nearly  300  head,  mostly  pheasants  and  rabbits. 

The  Cabinets  have  been  very  interesting  lately ;  but 
entail  much  heavy  work,  at  them  and  between  them. — 
Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

494 

To  Lt.-Col.  Stephen  Frewen 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
DUBLIN,  December  28th,  1903. 

MY  DEAR  STE, — Many  thanks  for  your  letter,  good 
wishes  and  '  cuttings.'  My  enthusiasm  is  not  damped 


TO  PHILIP  HANSON  89 

by  the  *  Freeman.'  The  Land  Act  is  winning  steadily 
against  that  organ.  All  the  '  able  editors  '  and  '  village 
Solomons  '  in  Ireland  can  only  delay  it  a  little,  and,  with 
Consols  at  88£,  that  is  not  an  unmixed  evil. 

All  the  same,  they  were  great  fools  to  give  the  English 
an  excuse  for  going  slowly. 

All  good  luck  to  you  in  the  New  Year. — Yours  ever, 

GEORGE  W. 

495 

To  Philip  Hanson 
Private  and  Confidential. 

IRISH  OFFICE, 
OLD  QUEEN  STREET,  S.W.,  29.1.04. 

MY  DEAR  P.  H., — You  will  see  by  enclosed  that  Co. 
Mayo  has  responded.  Now,  can  the  B.  of  W.  go  '  full 
steam  ahead  '  ? 

Redmond  has  sent  me  a  courteous  notice  of  his  intention 
to  raise  the  whole  question  of  Irish  Government  and 
inefficiency  in  all  departments.  So  tremble  ! 

I  have  asked  U.  S.  to  get  from  each  Department  a  brief 
— and  I  mean  by  that  a  brief,  very  brief — statement  of 
noble  benefits  conferred,  and  lavish  Financial  assistance. 

Lansdowne  suggests  that  I  should  defend  our  old  W.  O. 
in  1899  against  Robson,  K.C.,  and  the  War  Commission. 

We  are  '  whizzing '  over  the  Army  and  Foreign  affairs. 
Altogether  a  merry  tune,  and  I  miss  you. — Yours  ever, 

GEORGE  W. 

496 

To  Philip  Hanson 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
12.40  a.m.,  24th  February  '04. 

MY  DEAR  P.  H., — I  am  minded  to  write  to  you,  not  to 
convey  or  seek  information  but,  (observe  Henley  comma) 
merely  for  companionship.  Your  photograph  hangs  on 
my  wall,  bearing  the  significant  legend  1898-1904.  I 


90  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

wish  we  could  have  had  the  last  three  weeks  together. 
They  have  projected  a  reflex — pale  but  insistent — of 
February  1900.  The  Irish  have,  seemingly,  reverted  to 
1  Constitutional  methods  '  a  la  Butt,  which  is  as  much  as 
to  say,  polite,  but  insatiable,  demands  for  information 
and  pronouncements  of  policy  from  the  Chief  Secretary 
coupled  with  veiled  obstruction  and  unabashed  interrup- 
tion of  everybody  else;  the  whole  framed  in  a  bold 
declaration  that  they  vote  on  all  questions  irrespective 
of  their  merits  for  the  sole  purpose  of  baiting  the  Govern- 
ment and  Opposition — Caesar  and  Pompey,  very  much 
alike,  specially  Pompey. 

I  gather  from  A.  P.  MacDonnelPs  postal  and  telegraphic 
and  reiterated  communications  '  qua '  Irish  University 
that,  in  Ireland,  you  have  no  conception  of  the  Devil's 
own  rumpus  which  is  exploding  furibondically  on  this  side 
the  water.  I  am  in  my  element :  Consols  at  85  £ ; 
European  complications ;  unimaginable  Estimates  for 
Navy  and  Army  ;  Roberts  sacked  ;  Protestant  campaign  ; 
no  substantive  legislation  for  any,  bar  Brewers ;  huge 
deficit ;  panic  on  Continental  Bourses  ;  insults  to  Wanklyn 
from  *  my  Secretary  '  Moore  '  Junior  ' ;  pistols  and  coffee 
for  two,  or  more.  Such  time  as  I  can  spare  from  eating, 
sleeping  and  talking  is  spent  in  walking  the  corridors  of 
the  House,  arm-in-arm  with  desperately  earnest  men. 
Such  is  life  in  1904. 

Give  me,  say  I,  space  of  4  dimensions,  or  the  Absolute  ; 
or  the  '  Plastic  stress.'  I  ask  for  no  more  after  making  a 
speech  of  one  hour,  equally  acceptable  to  Willie  Redmond 
and  Banbury,  and  equally  intelligible  to  both. — Yours 
ever,  G.  W. 

497 
To  his  Father 

BELVOIR  CASTLE, 
GRANTHAM,  February  2&th,  1904. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — We  came  here — Saturday  to 
Monday — on  a  family  visit  of  ceremony  to  the  Duke ; 


TO  CHARLES  BO  YD  91 

'  uncle  John '  as  Sibell  calls  him.  It  is  rather  hard  to 
follow  the  relationships  owing  to  the  length  of  some  of  the 
generations.  The  Duke's  sister  was  SibelFs  grandmother. 
It  is  curious  to  stay  with  anybody  whose  mother  was 
married  in  the  XVIIIth  Century.  Yet  so  it  is.  His 
father  and  mother  married  in  1799.  My  host  is  the 
great-grandson  of  the  Marquess  of  Granby,  Commander- 
in-Chief  and  the  great -grand-uncle  of  Mister  Percy  ! 

I  have  been  by  way  of  coming  here  ever  since  I  married 
seventeen  years  ago. — Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

498 
To  Mrs.  Drew 

HOUSK  OF  COMMONS, 
St.  Patrick's  Day,  1904. 

I  *  am  little  better  than  one  of  the  wicked  '  not  to  have 
answered  before.  I  always  love  the  sight  of  your  hand- 
writing and  I  long  for  a  talk — I  will  not  grumble  hi  a 
letter.  But  I  am  rather  tired  and  wholly  overworked. 
It  is  dear  of  you  to  tell  me  of  books  to  read.  But  I  want 
to  see  you. 

Could  you,  miraculously,  come  to  London  to  go  with 
me  and  Pamela  to  see  the  Irish  National  Theatre  play 
at  the  Royalty  on  Saturday  26th  March  ?  They  are  new 
and  true :  all  light  and  delight.  The  man  and  woman 
who  act  have  genius.  Barrie  tried  to  get  her  at  £50  a 
week  to  act  in  '  Little  Mary.'  But  they  are  wrapped  up 
in  their  revival,  and  properly  contemptuous.  Do  come. 
I  am  sure  we  can  put  you  up  at  35  Park  Lane.  I  am 
starved  of  friendship. 

499 
To  Charles  Boyd 

HOUSE  OF  COMMONS, 
St.  Patrick's  Day,  1904. 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — Your  letter  gave  me  great  joy 
in  the  '  companionship  of  your  letter.'  I  have  been 


92  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

starved  of  friendship  latterly ;  overworked,  and  put  on 
as  a  4  smoother '  where  smoothing  could  scarcely  be. 
That  makes  for  Fatigue. 

But,  anon,  we  will  have  better  times. 

Now  as  to  your  question  :  not  a  bracelet,  or  ornament. 
She  has  too  many  and  cares  not  for  them.  If  you  desire 
to  please — as  you  do — seek  some  old  and  beautiful  book 
of  Devotion  ;  the  Life  of  a  Saint ;  a  Vulgate  ;  an  Italian 
crucifix ;  an  ivory  Virgin.  Or  else,  just  a  beautiful 
object ;  a  box,  or  enamel,  etc.  That  is  the  line.  Yet 
flowers  would  be  as  welcome.  I  will  choose  a  day  for 
dinner  soon.  Just  now  I  am  hypothecated  body  and 
soul,  up  to  the  armpit. — Yours  ever  in  the  brotherly  bond, 

GEORGE  W. 

500 

To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

IRISH  OFFICE, 
Ou>  QUEEN  STREET,  S.W.,  1st  May  1904. 

MOST  DARLING  PAMELA, — I  am  glad  that  you  spread 
yourself  over  quarto  on  St.  George's  Day.  I  have  since 
then  been  contracted  by  the  Royal  Visit  to  Ireland,  but, 
arrived  this  morning,  I  now  in  turn  bulge  out. 

It  was  a  blow  to  miss  you  and  the  Bims  at  Easter. 
I  am  undergoing  a  phase — always  a  welcome  sign  of  life. 
It  took  the  form  of  nausea  at  Politics,  nostalgia  for  poetry, 
and  a  lurch  in  that  direction  ;  a  pious,  ghostly  and  regretful 
return  to  *  fallen  places  of  my  dead  delight.'  For  the 
moment  it  seemed  less  empty  than  asking  of  the  Irish 
*  Why  does  one  Punch-and-Judy  beat  the  other  Punch- 
and-Judy  ? '  It  feels  like  falling  in  love  again  with  the 
same  person.  I  say  to  poetry,  as  Catullus  to  Lesbia  : — 

'  Ut  liceat  nobis  tota  producere  vita 

Aeternum  hoc  sanctae  foedus  amicitiae.' 

'  O  that  it  may  be  vouchsafed  to  us  to  draw  out  and  on 
through  the  whole  of  life  this  eternal  compact  of  holy 
affection.'  Instead  of  which  .  .  but  avaunt !  I  must 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  93 

get  the  life  of  Hayden ;  must  see  you  ;  and  meet  Margaret ; l 
and  soon.  Now,  my  dear,  the  only  day  I  can  propose  in 
any  near  future  is  Saturday  the  14th  May.  Next  Saturday, 
the  7th,  is  also  possible,  but  probably  too  near.  I  should 
like  to  meet  Margaret  very  much. 

For  Whitsuntide  I  go  to  Paris  to  be  '  busted  '  by  Rodin 
in  ten  days.  I  desire  to  keep  touch  with  letters  and 
sculpture  during  these  divine  days  of  spring  leaves  and 
sunshine  and  so  keep  an  escape  way  open  from  the  dusti- 
ness  and  fustiness  of  politics.  I  did  not  see  your  Legend 
of  the  N.  W.,  but  I  heard  of  him  and  nothing  that  was 
not  to  his  credit. 

The  Queen  was  as  beautiful  as  ever  in  Ireland,  and  the 
King  as  kind  as  ever.  I  love  being  with  them.  You 
would  have  appreciated  the  '  Command  '  night  at  the 
theatre.  The  audience,  4000  in  uniform  and  tiaras,  with 
a  gallery  packed  from  the  streets,  stood  up  in  one  wave 
towards  the  Royal  Box.  And  then  the  Gallery  sang 
'  God  save  the  King '  for  two  minutes,  without  a  note 
from  the  band  ;  hi  the  same  key. 

But  I  wish  it  meant  more  for  Ireland  ;  that  they  were 
not  such  Punches  and  such  Judys  ;  that  the  English  were 
not  so  fulfilled  with  the  rubbish  of  the  moment ;  in  short, 
that  people  would  think  and  feel  and  dream  more,  and 
fuss  and  scold  less.  Let  me  obey  my  own  precept  and 
refrain  from  scolding  anybody. 

I  hunger  for  someone  to  arise  and  write  a  very  beautiful 
book,  at  once  restrained  and  lyrical.  'How  all 
impoverished  and  fallen  from  renown  '  are  these  days  ! 
whilst  April  laughs  above  us  through  her  tears.  Will 
no  one  shine  again  above  the  little  arts  and  devices  of 
a  day  ? 

'  Urit  enim  fulgore  suo  qui  praegravat  artes 
Infra  se  impositas;  extinctus  amabitur  idem.' 

4  For  he  burns  with  his  own  splendour  who  presses  down 
the  arts  beneath  his  excellence  ;  when  his  light  has  gone 
out  he  is  still  loved  the  same.' 

1  Mrs.  Mackail. 


94  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

Well,  well,  I  shall  go  out  and  see  the  green  leaves  and 
come  to  you  by  glassy  waters.  And  the  Past  shall  sing 
to  us  of  the  Future. — Your  most  loving  brother, 

GEORGE. 

501 

To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

PA  VILLON  DE  BELLEVUE. 
24  Mai,  1904. 

DARLING  PAMELO, — I  came  to  these  parts — as  you  know 
—to  be  '  busted  '  by  Rodin,  and,  at  last,  have  struck  a 
perfect  4  pitch,'  here  at  Belle vue.  We  went  first  to  the 
H6tel  d'lena  and  I  hated  it :  darkness  filled  with  other 
people's  conversation  through  their  partitions  and  mainly 
in  the  American  voice.  I  pined  for  three  days  apart  from 
Rodin,  who  was  perfect,  and  two  dinners  at  Paillard,  at 
one  of  which  I  saw  a  really  beautiful  French  woman, 
and  learned  from  the  waiter  that  she  was  Madame 
Leterrier,  wife  of  the  Editor  of  '  Le  Journal.'  We  dined 
also  with  Alphonse  Rothschild  ;  saw  a  beautiful  Raphael, 
which  I  remembered  in  Rome,  anno  1887,  and  there,  too, 
I  had  a  capital  talk  with  a  Marquis  de  Dulau ;  the  witty, 
well-bred  Frenchman  of  the  past,  who  make  the  best 
companions  for  most  evenings.  In  politics  he  is  a  dis- 
enchanted Orleanist.  We  dejeune-ed  to-day  with 
Duchesse  de  Luynes,  our  Legitimist  friend.  They  are 
children,  arrested  in  intelligence  and  so  narrow  that  you 
couldn't  put  a  knife  into  them  even  if  you  wanted  to. 
They  hate  us  (as  a  nation  ;  love  us  as  friends),  hate 
Jews,  Americans,  the  present  and  last  two  centuries, 
the  Government,  Rodin,  the  future,  the  Fine  Arts.  Apart 
from  an  arsenal  of  dislikes,  they  are  unconscious  of  the 
Universe. 

You  may  imagine  how  I  delighted  in  Rodin  for  four  or 
five  solid  hours  a  day.  I  stand  for  £  hour  and  then  talk 
for  ten  minutes.  We  have  run  over  the  whole  Universe 
lightly,  but  deeply.  His  conversation  is  something  like 
this  : — 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  95 

La  beaute  est  partout ;  dans  le  corps  humain,  dans 
les  arbres,  les  animaux,  les  collines,  dans  chaque  partie 
du  corps,  aussi  bien  dans  la  vieillesse  que  dans  la  jeunesse. 
Tout  est  beau.  Le  modele  n'est  qu'un.  Dieu  1'a  fait 
pour  re'fle'ter  la  lumiere  et  retenir  1'ombre.  Si  nous 
parlons  images,  c'est  ainsi  qu'il  s'est  exprime  en  faisant 
la  terre.  Je  ne  lis  pas  le  Grec ;  les  Grecs  me  parlent  par 
leurs  ceuvres.  .  .  .  Eh  bien,  oui,  voyez  .  .  .  (prenons  un 
moment  de  repos)  .  .  .  (Showing  one  of  his  groups)  .  .  . 
C'est  la  main  de  Dieu.  Elle  sort  du  rocher,  du  chaos,  des 
nuages.  Elle  a  bien  la  pouce  d'un  sculpteur.  Elle  tient 
le  limon  et  la-dessus  se  creent  Adam  et  Eve.  La  femme 
c'est  la  couronne  de  Phomme.  La  vie,  Penergie  c'est 
tout  .  .  .  Ces  portes  ?  Oui,  elles  seront  bientot  finies. 
J'y  ai  travaille  pendant  vingt  ans.  Mais  j'ai  beaucoup 
appris  pendant  ce  temps-la.  D'abord,  je  cherchais  le 
mouvement.  Apres,  j'ai  su  que  les  Grecs  ont  trouve  la 
vie  dans  le  repos.  C'est  tout  ce  qu'il  faut.  Ou  la  vie 
circule,  la  sculpture  plait ! 

All  this  is  Greek  to  Madame  de  Luynes ;  so  *  nous 
de"testons  Rodin.'  Meanwhile  he  is  there  all  the  time, 
and  perhaps,  for  all  time.  In  any  case  a  very  great  man 
and  the  greatest  Dear. 

So  here  we  are  near  his  house  at  Meudon.  This,  Belle vue, 
is  a  French  Richmond.  We  came  to  it,  20  minutes  in 
a  boat,  and  up  100  yards  in  a  funicular.  We  are  on  a 
height,  amid  tree-tops,  in  silence,  with  the  forest  of  Meudon 
behind  us.  We  drove  in  it  before  dinner,  heard  the  cuckoo  ; 
smelt  the  damp  woods,  saw  the  sun  set  and  dined  on  a 
terrace  as  the  stars  came  out.  It  is  an  ideal  spot,  20 
minutes  from  picture  galleries,  and  any  friend  you  want 
to  see — such  a  difference — and  two  minutes  walk  from  a 
forest.  Our  rooms  are  large,  light  and  clean  and  look 
out  over  the  void  into  the  stars.  It  is  just  like  Cliveden. 
The  site  was  chosen  by  Madame  de  Pompadour,  and  the 
ruins  of  her  '  Brimborion '  are  next  the  terrace,  overgrown 
with  ivy. 

That  is  all  there  is  to  tell  you. 

I  met  Ian  Malcolm  and  his  wife.     They  reminded  me 


96  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

that  I  had  promised  an  inscription  for  the  cup  I  gave  them 
as  a  wedding  present,  so  I  wrote  this  : — 

'  I  gave  this  cup,  Love  filled  it,  drink  and  prove 
How  everlasting  is  the  fount  of  love.' 

— excellent  advice,   given  in  the  manner  of  the  Greek 
Anthology. 

The  bust  is  going  to  be  very  good ;  not  in  the  least 
catastrophic  or  Demiurgic,  but  just  simply — Your  devoted 
brother,  GEORGE. 

P.S. — Not  '  in  his  habit  as  he  lived,'  for  there  are  no 
clothes. 

502 

To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

PAVJLLON  DE  BELLEVUE. 
26  Mai,  1904. 

DARLING  PAMELO, — I  must  just  add  to  my  letter  that 
nightingales  sing  here  all  night.  I  listened  to  them  at 
midnight  and  again  at  2  a.m.  this  morning.  It  is  much 
to  be  on  a  height  amid  tree  tops,  with  nightingales,  six 
or  seven,  singing  between  you  and  the  river  below,  and 
beyond  the  river,  a  deep  violet  gloom,  picked  out  by  the 
tearful  lights  of  Paris.  The  nightingales  are  singing  now 
— 10.45 — terrifically.  I  wonder  what  they  thought  of 
the  Band  which  played  Faust  and  Tristram  among  their 
trees  till  an  hour  ago  ? 

There  are  soft  scarfs  of  cloud  against  the  stars,  and 
sapphire  darkness  overhead.  The  acacias  are  Japanese 
in  blossom.  The  roses  ramp  up  old  stocks.  The  band 
— thank  God — has  gone  to  bed,  a  dog  is  barking  in  Auteuil, 
over  the  river  I  hear  the  whistle  and  pantings  of  trains. 
And  these  nightingales  go  it — jug-jug-tu-whee-whee-reu- 
reu-reu-whee-tu-tu-tereu,  jug-jug-whee-whee,  pissle-pissle- 
rew-too — and  so  forth. 

As  Rodin  says — it  is  curious  that  with  all  our  Art,  our 
sculpture,  our  painting,  our  theatres,  we  have  done 
nothing  so  good  as  Nature.  What  an  irony  it  is  of  the 


TO  WILFRID  SCAWEN  BLUNT  97 

Aristophanes  of  Heaven  that  we  labour,  with  our  Imperial- 
isms and  our  Nationalisms,  our  gold-mines  and  transits, 
our  Education  (may  God  forgive  us  !)  to  make  more  people 
who  shall  see,  and  be  able  to  see,  the  beauty  of  the  World. 
And  yet  all  the  time  we  destroy  it. 

Here,  for  how  long  ?  for  a  year  or  two  more,  the  old 
road  reaches  in  zig-zag  up  a  forbidding  ascent  of  cobble- 
stones to  forests  as  they  were  in  the  13th  century.  The 
river  flows  100  yards  below.  And  beyond  the  dog  barks, 
as  when  he  guarded  savages  in  their  wattled  forts.  But 
further  the  trains  pant  and  rumble  and  whistle  and  '  tout 
Paris  '  asserts  itself  in  points  of  electric  light. — Your 
devoted  brother,  GEORGE. 


503 

To  Wilfrid  Scawen  Blunt 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
11  August  '04. 

MY  DEAR  WILFRID, — I  think  I  saw  the  draft,  but  am 
not  quite  sure.  I  hope  to  leave  London  almost  imme- 
diately. Perhaps  it  would  be  well  to  send  it  registered  to 
me  next  week  at 

Madresfield  Court, 
Malvern  Link. 

I  shall  try  to  meet  you  at  Clouds  September  1st.  I 
should  enjoy  immensely  some  riding  with  you  and  a 
Squire's  Partridge  shoot,  with  tune-honoured  keepers, 
untrained  dogs,  cider  for  lunch  and  recitations  from  the 
4  Idler's  Calendar.' 

Am  very  much  overworked  and  disposed  to  hum 

'  In  Summer  when  the  shaws  be  sheen 

And  leves  both  brode  and  longe, 
Full  merye  Hyt  is  in  faire  Forest 
To  hear  the  foulys  songe.' 

— Yours  affectionately,  GEORGE  W. 

VOL.    II.  G 


98  LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 


504 

To  Wilfrid  Scawen  Blunt 

CLOUDS, 
.SALISBURY,,  1  September  1904. 

MY  DEAR  WILFRID, — I  return,  in  another  large  envelope, 
the  draft  of  the  settlement  which  I  have  read  and  approve. 

I  am  very  glad  to  find  that  we  shall  meet  here  if  you 
hold  by  your  plan  of  coming  on  Monday.  Sibell  and 
Percy  will  also  be  here,  so  do  not  fail.  If  you  will  send 
me  a  line  indicating  your  route  from  Stonehenge,  I  will 
ride  out  early  on  Monday  to  meet  you  with  Dorothy,  if 
I  can  get  her  to  accompany  me.  I  imagine  that  you  will 
come  by  Wylie  and  will  reconnoitre  for  you  beyond. 
If  you  make  an  early  start  you  would  be  at  Wylie  between 
8  and  9. 

Percy  has  been  touring  through  Connemara  in  buggies 
with  a  party  of  friends.  He  has  written  me  capital  letters 
which  I  will  show  you.  I  rode  here  from  Cranborne 
Manor  yesterday,  over  5  miles  of  down,  then  3  of  Cran- 
borne Chace  to  the  high  ridge  of  down  and  on  by  Fern, 
Wardour,  Pyt  House,  Summerleas  to  E.  Knoyle.  Sibell 
and  Percy  are  expected  to-night.  I  hope  you  will  not 
change  your  plans,  as  I  want  to  see  you,  shoot,  ride  and 
talk ;  and  I  want  Percy  to  know  you  well. — Yours 
affectionately,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

505 

To  Wilfrid  Ward 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
DUBLIN,  October  9th,  1904. 

MY  DEAR  WILFRID, — I  have  awaited  Sunday  to  thank 
you  for  the  '  Aubrey  de  Vere  '  and  once  more  to  express 
gratitude  for  the  '  Dedication.'  I  have  not  had  leisure 
to  read  the  book  yet,  but  I  have  followed  the  Reviews. 
Evidently  you  have  scored  a  marked  success.  You  hold 
a  strong  and  established  position  from  which  you  can 


TO  CHARLES  BOYD  99 

exert  much  influence  on  the  views  of  your  contemporaries. 
That  is  power.     And  you  use  your  power  to  the  best  ends. 

I  am  wrestling  with  my  Rectorial  Address.  The  pen, 
for  a  longish  effort,  has  become  rather  unfamiliar  to  me. 
My  inclination  is  to  speak  and  my  tendency  to  be  too 
rhetorical  for  a  Rector.  So  soon  as  I  have  read  the  book 
I  will  write  again. 

With  my  kindest  regards  to  your  wife. — Yours  ever, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

506 

To  Charles  Boyd 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
PH<ENIX  PARK,  DUBLIN,  18th  October  '04. 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — First  let  me  write  of  immediate, 
and  selfish,  matters. 

By  the  Bond,  and  the  brotherhood  of  the  Bond,  these 
presents  adjure  you  that  you  do  instantly  and  forthwith 
repair  to  Constable's — your  London  Constable's  or  Edin- 
burgh Constable's — preferably  London  Constable's,  so 
that  you  may  enforce  by  word  and  if  need  be  by  blows 
instead  of  by  letter.  Repair  then  to  your  Constable's 
and  arrange  (i.)  that  they  print  without  delay  my  Address  ;* 
that  they  send  it  in  *  galleys,'  twice,  if  need  be,  here ; 
that  they  print  it  for  my  own  use  in  type  which  I  shall 
select,  vouchsafing  to  them  (for  the  time  being  and  under 
your  responsibility  of  blood -bondship)  my  treasure,  to  wit, 
the  sheets  from  which  A.  J.  B.  read  his  Glasgow  address. 

(ii.)  Arrange  with  your  Constables,  for  me,  that  they 
publish  my  address ;  reserve  foreign  and  American 
rights  ;  pay  me  whatever  you  think  proper  ;  to  undertake 
that  I  may — if  I  choose — republish  at  some  future  date 
in  a  volume  of  collected  Essays — with  Plutarch,  Shake- 
speare, etc. — if  the  whim  so  prompts  me. 

In  all  seriousness  I  am  hard  pressed  and  over-pressed. 
I  know  what  printers  are.  Unless  you  will  personally 
harangue  and  kick  them  I  shall  get  no  '  proof '  in  time. 

1  «  The  Development  of  the  State.' 


100          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

If  they  '  buck  up  '  under  your  personal  persuasion, 
you  shall  choose  the  date  of  the  Address.  The  second 
week  in  November — late  in  that,  or  early  in  the  third — 
smiles  at  me.  Cabinets  are  apt  to  fall  on  Fridays  or 
Mondays  ;  for  we  pander  to  week-enders. 

So  to  arrive  at  Glasgow,  clean  and  crisp,  or  to  get  back 
for  a  Cabinet,  Wednesday  looks  like  the  day.  The  9th 
is  impossible.  Manent  the  16th  and  23rd. 

I  am  not  happy  about  the  Address.  It  is  suggestive, 
but  congested.  I  have  written  it  with  blood  and  sweat 
against  time  and  amid  continual  interruptions.  Still, 
I  finished  the  MS.  this  afternoon.  But  I  must  cut  and 
expand  and  '  comb  '  *  no  end  '  on  the  proofs.  This  the 
excellent  Constable  must  take  into  account. 

Now,  /  do  ask  you  to  help  in  the  above.  For  I  am  water- 
logged in  administration  here. 

And,  secondly  (see  first  line)  I  come  to  your  S.  African 
problem.  I  write — under  the  seal  of  the  Bond — very 
bluntly  and  coarsely.  If  you  find  wisdom  in  my  words, 
sharpen  and  sweeten  and  moderate  before  you  pass  on 
that  wisdom.  After  Milner  we  need  a  man  of  character, 
but  not  an  ingenious  man,  not  a  man  of  initiative,  or 
ideas. 

To  my  mind  W will  not  do.  To  select  him  is  to 

repeat  the  mistake  sometimes  made  even  by  C.  J.  R., 
that  is,  in  avoiding  a  man  likely  to  strike  out  a  line  of  his 
own,  we  tumble  on  a  dumpling,  apparently  rotund,  but 
essentially  plastic  to  other  people's  ideas;  without  initiative, 
which  is  good  ;  but  inert  into  the  bargain,  which  is  bad. 
Avoid  him.  He  is  a  '  stumer.' 

Of  course  if  A.  L.  can  be  translated,  why  '  Hurray ! ' 
I  am  all  for  that.  It  would  be  an  experiment ;  but  a 
grand  experiment  and  signal  illustration  of  the  Imperial 
thesis.  The  interchangeability  of  Cabinet  Ministers  and 
pro-consuls  is  the  first  step  in  practical  demonstration. 

If  that  '  cock  won't  fight,'  I  should  ask  B.  of  B.,  ex- 
Colonial  Governors,  retired  Generals,  and  all  the  ancient 
vamps. 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  MARY  101 

Do  something  else  and  something  new,  right  away. 

In  my  political  crowd  novelty  and  safety  would  be  good 
in  one  of  two  men.  Lord  Stanley,  the  P.M.G.,  has  character, 
saw  S.  Africa  ;  has  blatant,  (apparent)  good-nature,  but 
is  sterling.  No  risk  of  ideas  and  initiative,  and  no  risk  of 
being  directed  or  transmogrified.  His  father  is  young. 
He  is  popular  with  the  other  side.  He  might  accept  and 
would  not  be  recalled. 

2.  Graham  Murray ;  he  is  adroit,  but  sound.  I  know 
you  think  this  impracticable.  But  he  would  prove  an 
excellent  bureaucrat,  play  the  game,  and  avoid  sensation. 
I  mean  what  I  write.  Verb.  sap. 

And  now — under  the  Bond — <listil  this,  and  do  arrange 
(a)  the  printing,  (b)  the  subsequent  publication  of  my 
address. — Yours,  G.  W. 


507 

To  his  Sister,  Mary 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LOI>GE, 
PEKENIX  PARK,  DUBLIN,  IQth  October  '04. 

BELOVED  CHANG, — Excellent.  I  will  come  on  Saturday 
afternoon  and  take  a  real  holiday  on  Sunday  with  you, 
dear  Evelyn 1  and  darling  Mamma.  Give  my  love  to 
Cyncie  and  let  us  all  have  a  ride  in  the  Phcenix  on  Monday 
afternoon.  You  can  go  on  by  the  evening  boat  and  sleep 
the  better  for  the  exercise. 

I  thought  Arthur's  Edinburgh  speech  perfect.  It  has 
rallied  all  '  bien  pensants  '  Free  Fooders  and  yet  enabled 
Imperialists  like  your  little  brother,  to  pursue  their 
mission  which  has  nothing  in  common  with  Protection, 
and  very  little  with  Retaliation.  I  am  working  in  the 
Castle  to-day  for  a  change.  I  finished  the  M.S.  of  my 
Address  yesterday :  after  two  *  smashing '  days.  So 
am  tired  and  happier.  Of  course  that  is  only  the  first 
stage  ;  there  follow,  (1)  typed  copy,  (2)  proof  in  '  galleys,' 
(3)  proof  in  pages.  And  these  are  the  critical  stages. 

1  Lady  de  Vesci. 


102          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

I  do  more  work  in  them  than  when  writing,  but  they 
do  not  tire  me.  It  is  the  mental  strain  of  composing,  of 
avoiding  committal  to  blind  alleys  and  excursions  over 
4  illimitable  veldts  '  of  interesting,  but  irrelevant,  matter, 
accompanied  by  the — to  me — physical  weariness  and 
'  nausea  '  of  driving  a  pen  for  9  or  10  hours  that  sickens 
and  kills.  I  retch  from  nervous  abhorrence  of  the  task. 
But  as  Dr.  Johnson  justly  observed,  '  any  man  can  write 
if  he  will  set  himself  doggedly  to  do  it.'  I  '  dogged  '  it 
for  48  hours  and  feel  to-day  serene  and  buoyant.  I 
should  like  to  give  the  address  the  day  before  Arthur's 
Glasgow  speech  and  stay  for  that.  He  speaks — I  think — 
on  November  23rd. 

Nobody  '  stage-manages  '  for  Arthur.  I  used  to  when 
I  was  his  P.  S.  And  it  is  important.  It  does  not  do — 
as  the  proverb  goes — '  to  let  the  Devil  have  all  the  good 
tunes.'  A.  J.  ought  to  have  Cabinet  Ministers  and  fair 
ladies,  and  many  M.P.'s,  on  his  platform  when  he  makes 
a  big  speech  as  P.  M.  and  leader  of  our  Party. 

508 
To  Mrs.  Drew 

MADRESFIELD, 
October  30th,  1904. 

I  have  waited  until  the  North  Sea  crisis  is  over — as  I 
trust  and  believe  it  to  be.  So  I  too  am  here  with  the 
Saints,  Sibell  and  Lettie,  between  Friday's  Cabinet  and 
another  at  12.30  to-morrow.  I  feel  as  if  balm  had  been 
poured  all  over  me.  Lettie's  attitude  towards  imminent 
maternity  is  a  pure  joy.  One  almost  expects  to  find 
haloes  hung  up  on  the  hat-pegs.  It  makes  me  feel  that 
the  family,  and  above  all  the  Mother  and  Child,  constitute 
the  central  fact  and  final  end  of  human  life  and  politics, 
as  they  were  the  origin. 

Are  you,  by  chance,  following  Oliver  Lodge's  pronounce- 
ments ?  They  interest  me  deeply.  He  is  a  sage  in  the 
front  of  modern  science.  A  year  and  a  half  ago,  he  was 
at  the  point  of  saying  to  me  that  Christianity  and  the 


TO  MRS.  DREW  103 

Church  had  made  Faith  unnecessarily  hard  to  thinkers. 
But  at  Babraham  the  other  day,  after  Arthur's  Address 
to  the  British  Association,  he  said  suddenly,  '  I  begin  to 
see  that  the  Church  was  right  about  the  Incarnation.' 
I  am  not,  therefore,  surprised  to  find  Ray  Lankester  and 
other  Weissmann-ites  pommelling  him  in  the  Press  for, 
I  imagine,  subconscious  betrayal  of  this  change  in  his 
lectures  and  addresses. 

I  shall  try  and  interpolate  a  bit  of  Lord  Acton  in  my 
Address.  The  Address  is,  I  hope,  suggestive,  but  I  know 
congested.  I  ought  to  blow  it  to  bits  and  build  something 
more  modest  out  of  the  debris.  I  do  not  quite  agree  with 
his  (Lord  Acton's)  views  on  Nationality.  But  the  diffi- 
culty of  agreeing,  or  even  of  dissenting,  in  these  matters, 
is  partly  due  to  the  fact  that  we  all  mean  different  things 
when  we  speak  of  Nationality ;  and  that  the  word  once 
meant,  and  still  suggests,  a  number  of  other  things  all 
differing  from  any  one  thing  which  any  one  of  us  may 
mean  now. 

And  this  is  the  tangled  skein  which  I  am  proposing  to 
unwind  !  If  Switzerland — as  he  declares — is  a  Nationality 
although  its  inhabitants  speak  French,  German  and 
Italian,  are  undoubtedly  descended  from  all  three,  and 
most  probably  also  from  a  non-Aryan,  round-headed 
Race  which  took  refuge  in  the  Alps,  where — I  ask  myself 
— are  we  ?  Why  is  Nationality  to  stop  at  Switzerland, 
or  at  France,  hammered  together  out  of  Bretons,  Gauls, 
Franks,  Burgundians,  Basques,  etc.  ? 

My  inclination  is  to  say  that  the  process  which  produced 
these  complex  politics  will  continue  to  act,  and  that  you 
cannot  say  '  halt ! '  at  the  stage  of  development  contained 
in  your  own  epoch.  Things  are  going  to  proceed  as  they 
have  proceeded.  But — and  here  I  agree  with  Lord 
Acton — if  that  be  so,  there  must  be  reverence  for  the 
liberty  of  Individuals,  and  also  for  the  local  and  traditional 
*  patriotism  '  of  various  races.  And  so  on.  .  .  . 

I  do  not  think  that  Devolution  is  practicable  or  wise, 
until  we  have  had  the  pluck,  or  the  luck,  or  both,  necessary 
to  settle  the  last  stage  in  Catholic  Emancipation.  After 


104          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

that,  in  conditions  which  we  do  not  know,  something  may 
present  itself  which  we  cannot  now  foresee. 

At  present  there  is  a  darkness  that  can  be  felt  in  front 
of  us  all — a  general  tendency  in  Home  politics  and  World 
politics  to  mistake  fishing  craft  for  torpedo  boats.  '  Shoot 
first,'  is  the  Bismarckian  message  to  mankind.  To  me 
it  seems  hysterical  and  carries  the  incidental  disadvantage 
of  reconstructing  Christendom  on  the  model  of  a  mining- 
camp  bar-saloon. 

I  rejoice  at  Hawarden's  propinquity  to  Saighton,  and 
insist  on  seeing  a  great  deal  of  you  next  Autumn. 

509 

To  his  Father 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

November  23rd,  1904. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  have  written  Mamma  a  long 
letter  on  the  Address  and  the  students.  The  leader  in, 
the  '  Glasgow  Herald  ' — the  Liberal  paper — is  the  most 
interesting  and  fair,  to  the  point  of  generosity.  For  all 
that,  I  could  begin  arguing  it  all  over  again.  For  example 
the  '  Westminster  '  cites  America  as  a  State  which  exhibits 
a  complete  solution  of  the  '  race  '  difficulty.  Of  course, 
I  had  America  in  my  mind  through  every  denunciation 
of  *  cosmopolitanism.'  The  '  polyglot  restaurants  and 
international  sleeping  cars '  and  '  shoddy '  Universities, 
and  Carnegie  bribes  give  the  classical  example  of  all  I 
detest.  But,  then,  I  could  not  attack  America. 

Glasgow  University  has  existed  for  453  years.  Among 
my  predecessors  who  have  delivered  Rectorial  Addresses 
are  Burke,  Adam  Smith,  Brougham,  Sir  Robert  Peel, 
Lord  John  Russell,  Macaulay,  Bulwer  Lytton,  Palmerston, 
Derby,  Disraeli,  Gladstone,  Bright,  Balfour,  Chamberlain 
and  Rosebery.  Their  '  shades  '  were  close  and  menacing 
when  I  faced  the  audience. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

P.S. — Burke  '  broke  down  '  for  the  first  and  only  time 
in  his  life  during  his  Address. 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  105 


510 

To  his  Mother 


35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

November  23rd,  1904. 


MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  loved  getting  your  letter 
yesterday  morning  before  '  going  into  action.'  I  acknow- 
ledge that  I  was  nervous.  And  nobody  said  anything 
to  make  me  less  nervous.  They  harped  on  the  rowdyism 
of  Finlay's  function  last  year ;  advised  me  to  be  popular 
and  humourous  ;  talked  of  Disraeli's  marvellous  exhibition 
of  memory  in  1871  when  he  declaimed  his  Address  on 
4  The  Spirit  of  the  Age '  without  a  glance  at  the  paper 
before  him  ;  and  so  on.  I  had  gone  through  a  hard  week 
— State  Banquet  at  Windsor,  Wednesday  ;  speech  of  hour 
and  five  minutes  Dover,  Thursday ;  Cabinet  in  London 
and  speech  at  Dover,  Friday ;  three  speeches  Saturday 
and  kick-off  at  a  Football  Match ;  desperate  journey 
through  blizzard  on  Monday. 

But  I  trusted  the  students,  absolutely,  because,  like 
you,  I  belong  all  the  time  to  the  secret  society  of  youth 
— and  they  guess  it.  Well,  nothing  could  have  been  more 
delightful  than  the  students.  They  were  all  things  by 
turn  ;  noisy  and  solemn,  warm-hearted  and  respectful ; 
showing  the  fantastic  high-spirits  and  preternatural 
seriousness  of  extreme  youth.  They  looked  on  me  as 
their  own  property ;  treated  me  with  the  mingled  awe 
and  familiarity  with  which  a  boy  treats  his  first  gun  or 
hunter — a  thing  that  is  his  own  property  with  two  aspects  ; 
partly  the  last  and  best  toy  of  his  boyhood,  partly  the  first 
talisman  of  his  manhood,  instinct  with  mysterious  pro- 
phecies of  unknown  possibilities. 

But  you  can't  analyse  youth  and  I  must  just  write  down 
a  few  facts  for,  unless  I  do  so  now,  I  never  shall.  The  old 
bothers  begin  again  to-morrow. 

The  blizzard  had  cleared  and  there  was  a  full  moon 
shining  on  the  frost  when  we  arrived.  Sibell  went  off 
with  my  '  Assessor.'  I  was  taken  for  an  hour's  torchlight 
procession  by  the  students.  They  were — many  of  them, 


106          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

say    two    hundred — in    fancy    dress,    Zulus,    policemen, 
clowns,  etc.     They  leapt  with  excitement,  cheered,  sang 
songs  and  dragged  me  up  a  steep  hill  to  the  Principal's 
House.     There  I  had  to  make  them  a  short  speech.     I 
had  only  twenty  minutes  to  dress  for  a  big  dinner  of 
dons,   M.P.'s,   bishops   and   so   forth,    all   very   gracious. 
And  Mrs.  Storey,  my  hostess  was  a  mother  to  me.     After 
that  a  party  with  introductions  to  many  and  a  smoke 
with  two  professors.     The  next  morning  I  felt  like  Mar- 
lowe's Faustus  waiting  for  the  Devil  to  take  him  at  12. 
But  on  these  occasions  one  becomes  an  automaton.     I 
put  on  my  Rectorial  Robes,  signed  a  Latin  Declaration 
in  a  hall  of  the  University  and  drove  off  with  the  Principal 
and   my  Assessor,  preceded   in  another  carriage  by  the 
Bedellus  (Beadle  in  fact)  with  15th  century  mace,  and 
followed  by  a  procession  of  open  flys  filled  with  dons  in 
robes.      So  we  reached  Hengler's  Circus.     It  was  bitterly 
cold.     The    auditorium    held    between    two    and    three 
thousand,  and  all  the  students  were  there  raising  Cain  ! 
We  marched  in,  preceded  by  the  Bedellus.     They  gave  me 
a  great  reception.     The  Lord  Provost  and  Corporation 
were  there  in  robes  and  ermine.     I  found  myself  on  the 
stage.     Saw  Sibell  in  a  box.     Heard  the  students  inter- 
rupting a  long  Latin  prayer  with  nasal  Amens,  penny 
whistles  and  trumpets  and,  introduced  only  by  the  words 
*  The  Lord  Rector '  plunged  into  my  Address.     It  was  a 
strain.     I  had  put  up  a  great  deal  of  weight.     It  seemed 
interminable.     I  had  one  or  two  panics — that  it  would 
last  two  hours  ;    that  they  were  only  suffering  me,  not 
gladly ;    that  they  would  lose  patience  and  break  out. 
This  was  borne  in  twice  by  organized  shuffling  of  feet. 
Afterwards  I  heard  this  was  a  protest  against  two  people 
who  left  the  hall.     At  the  words  '  entrenched  in  a  medley 
of  there  was  a  wild  outburst — afterwards  explained  by 
the  fact  that  the  name  of  one  lecturer  is  Medley.     But 
I  did  not  betray  any  qualms  and  declaimed  away,  to  a 
death-still  attention,   broken  rather  often  by  loud  and 
prolonged  applause.     At  the  end  they  cheered  again  and 
again.     By  a  miracle  the  trick  had  been  done.     They 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  107 

nearly  pulled  my  arms  out  of  my  body  clutching  my  hands 
in  powerful  and  frenzied  grips  of  enthusiasm.  They  took 
the  horses  out  and  dragged  me  the  whole  way  through  the 
town.  They  made  me  speak  again  out  of  the  landau. 
Then  we  had  lunch.  After  lunch  I  made  almost,  if  not 
quite,  the  best  '  after  dinner  '  speech  I  have  ever  made, 
just  to  show  that  I  could  be  playful  and  speak  without 
preparation.  A  brief  interim  of  tea-drinking  at  the 
Principal's  house  and,  lo,  there  were  the  students  outside 
to  take  me  to  the  '  Union  ' ;  evidently  there,  to  judge 
by  wild  echoes  of  '  For  he  's  a  jolly  good  fellow.'  I  went 
out  and  was  at  once  picked  up  and  carried  shoulder  high 
to  the  '  Union.'  There  I  made  the  Liberal  leader  speak, 
by  replying  to  the  now  familiar  cry  of  '  Speech  '  with  a 
retort  '  Debate.'  We  resolved  ourselves  into  an  informal 
smoking-concert,  at  the  end  of  which  I  had  to  stand  on 
the  table  and  make  another  speech  in  which  I  pleased 
them  a  great  deal.  So  they  carried  me  all  the  way  back, 
shoulder-high,  singing  'And  will  ye  no  come  back  again.' 
Some  of  the  nicest  professors,  specially  Ramsay  '  of 
Humanity '  which  means  '  Latin  '  up  there,  called  and 
were  very  kind.  I  then  slept  like  a  stone  for  an  hour, 
dressed  and  dined  with  my  Assessor,  Baird,  to  meet 
students  and  dons.  One  don,  Jones,  a  Welshman  and 
lecturer  on  philosophy  came  in  and  we  had  a  splendid 
discussion  on  the  themes  of  the  Address  which  they  had 
all  got  hold  of.  The  University  Magazine,  '  G.  U.  M.,' 
had  a  verbatim  report  on  sale  in  the  streets  the  moment 
I  left  Hengler's  Circus.  (I  had  given  the  Editor  a  copy 
and  they  had  printed  it  in  the  night.)  So  they  had  read 
it  after  hearing  it.  I  slept  well  and  the  students  saw  me 
off  at  the  station  with  the  old  songs,  etc.  etc.  Altogether  a 
memorable  experience.  It  proves  once  more  that  '  grand 
jeu  '  is  the  best  game.  They  took  the  '  steepness  '  of  the 
Address  as  a  compliment.  It  confirms  my  conviction  that 
you  should  never  play  down  to  an  audience.  Still — I  will 
own  that  when  I  got  up  to  deliver  the  Address,  and  once  or 
twice  during  its  delivery,  I  felt  like  poor  old  '  Manifesto  ' 
the  steeple-chase  horse  with  fourteen  stone  on  his  back. 


108         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

And  now  I  must  go  to  bed  ;  for  to-morrow  I  have  to 
prepare  against  the  United  Club  Dinner  on  Friday  after 
a  Cabinet.  I  am  sending  to  Clouds  a  packet  of  the 
newspapers.  The  '  Scotsman  '  and  '  Glasgow  Herald  * 
report  verbatim  and  the  '  Herald,'  considering  it  is  liberal, 
is  very  fair,  indeed  more  than  fair. 

Best  love  to  Papa  and  Ditch. — Ever  your  most  loving 
son,  GEORGE. 

511 

To  Charles  Boyd 

IRISH  OFFICE, 
OLD  QUEEN  STREET,  S.W.,  24.xi.04. 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — Your  letter  of  20th  has  only  now 
reached  me — 4  p.m. — but  it  has  reached  to  touch.  I 
give  three  cheers  for  the  Bond. 

Last  night  I  thought  you  might,  perhaps,  have  been 
back,  and  sent  you  a  note  stating  I  was  lonely  '  after  the 
Fair.' 

I  realised  as  deeply  as  you  can  have  done  the  immense 
interest  of  Glasgow  and  of  your  presence  for  '  fraternity/ 
I  had  my  eye  on  you  at  the  little  speech  I  made  after 
luncheon  on  the  22nd.  Indeed  I  made  that  speech  to  you. 

For  me,  alas,  there  is  no  rest.  I  am  grappling  with  a 
speech  for  to-morrow  night,  and  am  be-devilled  by  other 
— public — bothers.  So  I  swear  by  the  Bond  ;  and  have, 
also,  become  a  Scot — &  Breadalbane  Campbell  x  in  the 
future,  if  you  please  ;  with  proclivities  tor  the  Stone  Age. 

A  1000  thanks  for  the  letter  and  for  Constable.— Ever 
your  affectionately  GEORGE  W. 

512 

To  his  Father 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

November  2,6th,  1904. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  am  waiting  to  send  a  respectable 
copy  of  my  Address  to  Clouds  :  bound  in  vellum  and 

1  His  mother's  family. 


TO  THE  LORD  BISHOP  OF  OSSORY        109 

printed  on  paper  instead  of  the  wood-fibre  and  porcelain 
cement  of  a  *  shilling  shocker.' 

But  the  publishers  are  *  slow  dogs.'  Meanwhile  I  send 
you,  as  an  advance  copy,  a  specimen  of  the  shilling 
edition. 

The  three  Latin  quotations  on  the  fly-leaf  state  the 
4  themes  '  of  the  symphony.  The  first  from  Ennius  says, 
*  The  Roman  state  stands  on  ancient  customs  and  on 
men.''  That  is  Tradition.  The  second  from  Claudian 
— '  floruit '  430 — says,  '  This  is  she  who  alone  (among 
nations)  accepted  into  her  embrace  those  whom  she  had 
conquered  .  .  .  after  the  manner,  not  of  an  Empress, 
but  of  a  Mother,  and  called  those  to  be  her  citizens  whom 
she  had  overthrown,  and  bound  to  herself  by  a  chain  of 
love  the  uttermost  parts  of  the  world.  All  of  us  owe  to 
her  peaceful  practice  that  each  guest  enjoys  her  hospitality 
as  if  he  were  at  home ;  that  it  is  easy  to  change  your 
residence.'  That  is  Transit.  The  third  from  Virgil, 
says,  '  A  greater  configuration  of  the  State  is  borne  in 
upon  me  ;  I  am  suggesting  a  "  bigger  business."  That 
is  : — I  am  asking  you  to  consider  an  ideal  of  the  State, 
which  embraces  both  Conservative  tradition  and  modern 
intercommunication  with  its  consequences  :  but  is  newer 
and  larger  than  either  taken  alone. 

The  address  has  been  well  received  ;  but  it  has  puzzled 
everybody.  That  is  just  what  I  aimed  at.  I  wanted  to 
make  them  think :  an  unusual  enterprise  in  our  day. — 
Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

513 

To  the  Lord  Bishop  of  Ossory 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
DUBLIN,  November  28,  1904. 

MY  DEAR  DEAN, — I  must  thank  you  for  the  great 
kindness  of  your  letter.  I  acknowledge  the  complexity 
of  the  issues  I  raised  and  plead  guilty  to  a  4  congestion  ' 
in  my  exposition  which,  if  not  inevitable,  was  at  any  rate 
not  avoided. 


110          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

But  your  letter  shows  that  my  address  was  intelligible  ; 
for  you  seize  my  points  as  clearly  as  they  present  them- 
selves to  my  own  mind  up  to  one  point  which  cannot,  I 
believe,  be  made.  I  mean  a  complete  answer  to  the 
question  '  What  is  a  Nation  ?  ' 

Your  citation  of  the  Jews  is  very  just.  Their  attitude 
towards  the  Gentiles,  or  nations,  offers  a  close  parallel 
to  the  attitude  of  the  Romans  towards  the  '  nations.* 
The  Jews  and,  I  might  add,  the  Arabs  have  remained  a 
race,  though  each,  for  a  comparatively  brief  period, 
played  a  part  in  State-building. 

I  asked  the  question  '  What  do  we  now  call  a  Nation  ?  * 
and  gave  instances  to  prove  that  no  answer,  ready  and  com- 
plete, can  be  found.  I  said  that  the  use  of  the  word  was 
a  matter  of  feeling  rather  than  of  thought.  It  is  almost  a 
question  of  taste.  But,  accepting  both  your  tests  together, 
i.e.  racial  affinity  and  political  union,  I  feel  that  a  people 
which  has  enjoyed  both  together  for  a  considerable  period, 
does  not  cease  to  be  a  nation  because  other  powers  tear 
it  to  pieces.  Now,  in  respect  of  the  Poles,  they  had  a 
kingdom  for  many  centuries.  The  '  political '  predecessor 
of  the  Tsar,  i.e.  the  Grand  Duke  of  Muscovy,  paid  homage 
to  the  King  of  Poland  in  the  days  of  our  Queen  Elizabeth, 
when  Scotland  was  a  separate  kingdom.  Dryden  satirises 
Shaftesbury  in  the  '  Medal '  for  his  supposed  ambition 
to  be  elected  '  King  of  Poland.'  Poland  was  for  long  and 
until  recently  a  kingdom. 

It  is,  as  I  say,  a  question  of  feeling.  The  Armenians 
offer  a  nicer  and  a  harder  occasion  for  definition.  In 
many  respects  they  are  like  the  Jews  ;  but,  I  suppose 
they  might  urge  their  king  Tigranes. 

My  desire  was  to  show  that  the  word  is  '  equivocal ' 
and  that  the  thing  wasj  never  '  the  State '  except  from 
the  16th  century  on  to  our  time  when  it  has  ceased — 
or  is  ceasing — to  be  *  the  State  '  because  of  Imperial 
expansion. 

Those  who  agree  with  Lord  Acton  would  stereotype  the 
state  at  the  stage  of  fc  Nation-States,'  actually  constructed 
in  the  15th  and  16th  centuries  and  of  others  which  might 


TO  MONSIEUR  AUGUSTS  RODIN  111 

have  been  constructed  then  e.g.  Italy,  though  they  were 
not  till  later ;  or  others,  e.g.  Poland,  existing  then  and 
demolished  since. 

I  say  that  '  Empire-States  '  now  being  perfected  are 
not  more  artificial  than  '  Nation-States.' 

But  to  save  an  Empire-State  from  '  cosmopolitanism  * 
I  would  cherish  pride  hi  Race,  to  give  feature  and  colour. 

So  that  I  gladly  accept  your  conclusion  that  Pride 
of  Political  Unity  is  a  nobler  incentive  than  Pride  of 
Race.  I  sought  to  indicate  that  view  in  the  phrase 
1  Let  Pride  be  in  Race ;  Patriotism  for  the  Empire.' 
For  I  place  Patriotism  above  Pride,  even  in  Race. 

I  need  Pride  in  Race  only  to  redeem  Empire  from 
Cosmopolitanism,  and  to  afford  a  '  school '  for  patriotism 
by  cultivating  one  of  its  origins,  viz.  the  sentiment  of 
consanguinity.  A  man,  for  example,  who  is  proud  of 
his  school  and  his  university  is  better  fitted  for  loyalty, 
in  after  life,  to  larger  conceptions  ;  the  Church,  the  Army, 
the  Navy. 

So  an  Irishman  who  is  proud  of  Milesian,  or  Norman, 
Elizabethan  or  Cromwellian,  descent  is  better  fitted  for 
patriotism  to  the  Empire. 

But  I  do  not  exclude  pride  of  Nationality.  I  only 
mean  that  it  is  a  doubtful  and  perplexing  '  middle  term,' 
not  so  helpful  to  the  '  Development  of  the  State  '  as  Pride 
in  Race  coupled  with  patriotism  for  the  Empire. 

But  I  must  apologize  for  inflicting  another  lecture. 
I  hope  that  we  may  have  a  talk  over  the  subject  one  even- 
ing after  dinner  at  the  Lodge. — Yours  very  sincerely, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 


514 

To  Monsieur  Auguste  Rodin 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
PHOENIX  PARK,  DUBLIN,  5.xii.04. 

MON   CHER  AMI, — J'etais  enchante  de  recevoir  votre 
lettre  mais,   de  ces  jours-ci,   j'ai  eu  tant  d'affaires,   de 


112          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

discours  a  prononcer,  de  voyages  a  Londres,  et  de  retours 
a  Dublin,  qu'il  fallait  attendre  le  moment  pour  ecrire  une 
r^ponse. 

En  fait  de  1'exposition  a  Dublin  je  ne  comprend  pas 
precisement  dans  tous  ces  rapports  le  projet  de  Mr.  Lane. 
II  d6sire,  a  ce  qu'on  me  dit,  que  vous  permettrez  qu'on 
presente  a  une  galerie  a  Dublin  un  exemplaire  de  1'Age 
d'Airain.  Nous  ne  sommes  pas  bien  riches  en  Irlande 
et  je  ne  sais  pas  le  prix  de  ce  chef-d'oeuvre. 

Pour  mon  buste  je  suis  tout-a-fait  de  votre  avis.  C'est 
a  dire  qu'il  faut  envoyer  le  marbre  directement  a  la  '  New 
Gallery.'  Mais  je  serais  tres  content  de  recevoir  ici,  a 
Dublin,  une  epreuve  en  platre  au  plus  tot  possible.  £a 
int^ressera  mes  amis  Irlandais  qui  sont  amateurs  des 
Beaux  Arts  et  donnera  un  elan  au  projet  qu'ils  discutent 
d'acheter  1'Age  d'Airain. — Je  suis  toujours  votre  Ami  bien 
reconnaissant,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 


515 

To  Wilfrid  Ward 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
DUBLIN,  December  6th,  1904. 

MY  DEAR  WILFRID,— 

The  Catholic  church  does,  for  a  Catholic,  fulfil  my  ideal. 
I  am,  consequently,  deeply  interested  in  the  second 
chapter — Oxford,  Cambridge  and  Rome — of  '  Aubrey  de 
Vere.'  I  shall  write  on  the  whole  book ;  but  not  yet. 
I  want  to  muse  after  browsing. 

The  period  of  thought — among  young  men — depicted 
in  chapter  2,  is  most  interesting  to  me.  I  believe  that 
between  that  period  and  our  own  there  has  been  no 
original  thinking.  But  you  are  thinking  and  writing, 
what  others  think.  The  men  who  were  young  in  the  first 
period  have  died  off,  leaving,  until  now,  in  recent  years 
a  void  of  which  I  would  say,  in  the  words  applied  by 
Wordsworth  to  France  that  it 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  MADELINE  113 

'  Hath  brought  forth  no  such  souls  as  we  had  then. 
Perpetual  emptiness !     Unceasing  change  ! 
No  single  volume  paramount,  no  code, 
No  master  spirit,  no  determined  road ; 
But  equally  a  want  of  books  and  men  ! ' 

— Yours  ever,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 


516 

To  his  Sister,  Madeline 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
PHCENIX  PARK,  DUBLIN,  22.xii.04. 

MOST  DARLING  MANENAI, — I  take  a  fairly  long  shot 
at  Christmas  to  wish  that  it  may  be  '  merry  '  for  you  all ; 
to  send  my  fondest  love  ;  and  to  desire,  with  all  my  heart, 
all  luck  and  blessings  on  you,  and  Charlie,  and  all  the 
4  poussins  '  during  next  year. 

I  am  sending  you  a  heavy  gift — my  Address  in  vellum. 
But  it  may  become  rare  and  present  the  attraction  of  a 
virgin  Alp  to  intrepid  climbers. 

We  got  our  Perf  back  late  yesterday,  it  was  such  a  joy. 
He  had  pierced  the  lingual  fog  of  German  and  French 
station-masters  and  the  atmospheric  fog  of  lands  more 
articulate  (to  him).  So  in  he  came  as  brisk  as  may  be. 

I  simply  loved  my  evenings  with  you  during  these  last 
weeks  of  gloom  and  racket.  Here  all  is  serene,  incon- 
sequent, graceful,  warm-hearted, — Irish,  in  short — and  I 
feel  at  rest. 

Everybody  here  knows  me,  and  Sibell  and  Percy.  Their 
kindness  is  beyond  words.  The  less  one  can  do  for  them, 
the  more  loving  they  are  on  a  common  basis  of  congenial, 
congenital  and  patriotic  futility.  There  is  nothing  like 
the  swing  and  lilt  with  which  they  pursue  the  rainbow ; 
and  nothing  like  the  comfortable  consolation,  as  of  '  a 
mother  of  many,'  with  which  they  surround  a  '  horizon- 
catcher  '  when — just  for  once — the  horizon  is  still  beyond 
him.  These  people  are  worth  all  the  half-penny  papers 
in  the  world  ;  and  I  am  off  on  Wednesday  to  the  worst 

VOL.  II.  H 


114          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

parts  of  the  West  to  hear  them  say  '  It 's  not  so  bad  after 
all,  and,  indeed,  it 's  very  kind  of  you  to  take  any  notice 
at  all  of  it.'  That  is  their  way  of  facing  *  Distress.'  I 
prefer  it  to  Trafalgar  Square. 

And  so  my  best  love  to  you,  darling  Manenai. — Your 
devoted  brother,  GEORGE. 


517 

To  his  Father 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
PHCENIX  PARK,  DUBLIN,  December  22nd,  1904. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — This  is  to  wish  you  a  merry 
Christmas  and  happy  New  Year. 

Perf  arrived  last  night  about  9.30,  having  *  pushed 
through  '  from  Frankfurt.  He  is  very  well  and  strong. 
The  Attorney  General  was  dining  to  play  bridge  with  two 
secretaries  and  self.  But  Perf  kept  us  amused  and  laugh- 
ing for  an  hour  and  a  half  with  the  account  of  his  travels, 
the  life  at  Frankfurt ;  and  a  hockey  match  between 
Frankfurt  and  Mannheim.  Owing  to  Geidt's  establish- 
ment Frankfurt  won  by  eleven  goals  to  one,  amid  frenzied 
plaudits  from  the  crowd  and  waving  of  handkerchiefs 
from  German  ladies.  He  tells  me  that  none  of  them  are 
good-looking  enough  to  pass  muster.  They,  the  German 
ladies  (though  not  up  to  his  standard)  are,  apparently 
all  '  anglo-manes.'  If  the  hockey  is  fixed  for  2.30  p.m. 
they  parade  the  town  all  the  morning  in  short  skirts, 
brandishing  then*  sticks. 

He  explained  some  difficulties  he  encountered  at  the 
frontier — not  having  registered  his  luggage — by  interject- 
ing that  the  custom  house  officer '  spoke  very  bad  German.' 
The  Attorney  General  said  he  ought  to  be  '  an  expert 
witness  '  or  a  member  of  Parliament.  Such  resource  of 
debating  reply  would  be  wasted  on  the  Army. 

A  plaster  '  epreuve '  of  my  Rodin  bust  has  arrived. 
It  is  very  good  even  in  plaster. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  115 

518 

To  his  Mother 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
PHCENIX  PARK,  DUBLIN,  December  22nd,  1904. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — This  is  to  wish  you  a  merry 
Christmas  and  most  happy  New  year !  It  is  much  to 
have  Guy  back  and,  I  add,  Percy  with  us,  tall  and  strong 
and  well.  I  am  sending  you  a  vellum  '  Address,'  just 
as  a  gift,  and  just  as  I  gave  you  a  translation  of  Ovid's 

*  Arion  '  at  Hyeres  in  1873. 

Amongst  all  the  botherations  of  Ireland,  priceless  things 
occur.  This  will  amuse  you  and  Pamela  and  Gatty  and 

*  Uncle  Tom  Codley  and  all.' 

In  the  London  evening  papers  you  read  of  desperate 
symptons  of  intimidation  ;  '  black  spot '  etc.  I  plaster 
on  Police  Protection  ;  chiefly  for  Parliamentary  purposes. 
But  this  is  what  really  happens. 

Casey,  in  Templemore,  Tipperary,  says  he  goes  in  fear 
of  his  life  from  Kennedy.  Casey  is  given  two  policeman 
to  protect  him  from  Kennedy.  They  stay  at  Casey's 
house,  escort  him  to  fairs,  and  are  fed  by  Casey.  Coming 
back  from  the  fair  in  the  dark,  Casey,  with  two  policeman 
in  his  cart,  says,  '  Wait  awhile  '  and  disappears  over  the 
bank  of  the  road  ;  for  no  purpose  but  to  cut  cabbages  for 
the  policemen's  supper.  He  selects  the  garden  of  Kennedy 
the  man  who  is  supposed  to  be  terrorising  him.  Kennedy 
catches  him,  calls  the  two  police,  protecting  Casey  (from 
Kennedy)  and  tells  them  to  arrest  Casey.  They  do  so, 
and  resume  their  drive  to  Casey's  house — minus  cabbages. 
Casey  pleads  guilty.  Kennedy,  instead  of  charging  the 
policemen  with  being  accessories  to  the  attempted  theft, 
charges  them  with  '  being  drunk  ' !  !  Well !  Well !  can 
I  expect  the  sub-editor  of  the  '  Globe  '  to  unravel  that 
skein  ? 

Perf  arrived  rather  late  last  night  from  Frankfurt,  very 
•well.  We  had  a  good  gallop  together  this  morning  and 
then  went  off  shopping  and  to  see  pictures.  To-morrow 


116         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

we  have  a  hockey-match  on  the  lawn  here.  The  men 
and  maidens  bring  '  shoes  '  to  dance  afterwards  in  the 
ball-room  to  a  *  pianola.'  Now  that  Perf  is  back  as  master 
of  the  revels,  all  the  candles  will  be  lighted.  On  Saturday 
we  hunt  at  Celbridge.  Next  week  I  shall  take  a  run  on 
motor  and  '  Granuaile  '  round  the  worst  part  of  the  West 
to  see  the  potato  failure. 

All  love  to  you,  most  beloved  Mamma,  from  your 
most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

519 

To  his  Brother 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
PH<ENIX  PARK,  DUBLIN,  Christmas  Eve,  1904. 

DEAREST  OLD  GUY, — Perf  and  I  are  just  in  from  a 
capital  day  with  Kildares  :  galloping  and  jumping  all 
the  time.  Met  Celbridge  (1)  Demesne  Hunt,  with  good 
scent  and  bad  fox,  one  loop  out  and  out  to  ground  at  the 
end.  (2)  Grof  ton's  Rath,  a  bright  burst,  fast  but  not  racing, 
over  good  clean  big  c  leps  '  check  after  fifteen  minutes  ;. 
slow  hunting,  again  to  ground.  (3)  Taghado  (Tattoo) 
fox  and  pack  away  within  two  minutes  of  putting  in ; 
hounds  a  field  ahead  as  we  galloped  round  the  corner  ; 
breast-high  scent,  racing  pace  straight  for  just  under 
fifteen  minutes,  check — but  only  just  time  to  breathe ; 
on  again  very  fast,  check ;  on  again  and  to  ground  in 
fifty  minutes  all  told  :  a  fine  hunt :  the  best  so  far  this 
year.  The  *  going  '  is  perfect.  We  went  over  the  cream 
of  the  country,  Perf  and  I  both  well  carried,  and  no  falls. 
There  was  any  amount  of  grief.  Did  not  see  much  of 
it  as  kept  a  good  place,  but  at  each  check  five  or  six  loose 
horses  came  up.  I  had  about  the  best  of  the  first  burst, 
with  Turrell  and  Cub  Kennedy.  Perf  was  close  up — 
having  been  stopped  by  a  man  falling  in  front  of  him. 
He  beat  me  altogether  in  the  last  part,  as  the  fox  turned 
a  good  deal  at  the  end  and  I  got  too  wide  on  the  left 
crediting  with  a  better  point.  I  rode  with  Perf  the  second 
burst,  but  he  finished  four  or  five  lengths  in  front  of  me, 


TO  MONSIEUR  AUGUSTE  RODIN  117 

•even  then.     The  pace  of  the  first  burst  from  Taghado  was 
terrific  :  have  not  seen  hounds  go  faster. 

We  are  looking  out  for  hirelings  to  fill  up  with  when 
you  are  here.  Scent  has  been  good  all  last  week  and  I 
believe  we  are  in  for  a  spell  of  good  sport. — Your  loving 
brother,  GEORGE. 

520 

To  Monsieur  Auguste  Rodin 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
PHOSNIX  PARK,  DUBLIN,  25th  Decembre  1904. 

MONSIEUR  '  LE  MA!TRE  '  ET  CHER  AMI, — Je  n'ai  pas 
encore  vu  le  marbre  qui  est,  sans  doute,  a  Londres,  mais 
de  1'epreuve  en  platre  qu'est-ce  que  je  puis  dire  ?  Enfin 
j'ai  passe  une  heure  avec  Mr.  Lane,  extasies  tous  les  deux, 
en  regardant  ce  chef-d'oeuvre.  C'est  bien  un  portrait, 
et  des  plus  saisissants.  C'est  vrai  et  vivant  au  point 
qu'en  regardant  le  gosier  on  s'attend  a  voir  le  buste  avaler. 
Mais  c'est  plus  que  cela  ;  et  beaucoup  plus.  C'est  PHomme 
de  quarante  ans,  et  jamais  on  n'a  fait  §a,  personne  ne  1'a 
fait.  Nous  avons  des  maitres  la  jeunesse ;  et  puis,  le 
vieillard.  Nous  n'avons  pas,  de  qui  que  ce  soit,  un  ceuvre 
qui  est,  et  sera  toujours,  a  la  fois,  un  portrait,  le  Vrai  la 
Vie  et  l'Homme  en  pleine  carriere,  avec  ses  regrets,  ses 
soucis,  sa  force,  ses  espoirs,  son  elan. 

J'ai  compris  parfaitement,  avant  meme  que  vous  me 
1'aviez  signale,  que  1'absence  des  prunelles,  surtout  dans 
le  platre  qui  jette  des  ombres  trop  accuses,  donnait  un 
air  un  peu  tracasse"  au  buste  quand  on  le  regarde  d'en 
face.  Mais  1'epreuve  en  platre  est  pour  les  intelligents. 

Mais  avec  les  yeux  moins  creux,  en  platre  et  davantage 
en  marbre  ou  en  bronze,  la  serenite  surviendra  sans 
amoindrir  tout  ce  qu'il  y  a  de  vif  et  de  vecu. 

Apres  ma  conversation  avec  M.  Lane  je  puis  vous  dire 
precis6ment  ce  que  nous  esperons  de  votre  buste !  II 
s'agit  d'une  galerie  de  1'Art  moderne  pour  Dublin.  Je 
vous  enverrai — si  je  puis  mettre  la  main  dessus — des 
renseignements  sur  le  projet.  Mais  en  deux  mots,  Sargent, 


118         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

et  d'autres  nous  ont  donne  pour  cinquante  pieces.  Nous 
osons  esperer  d'acheter  la  '  collection  Forbes,'  c'est  a  dire 
quinze  Corot,  des  Millet,  des  Mauve,  des  Maril,  des 
D'Aubigne,  des  Constable. 

Alors  nous  desirons  deux  choses.  Pour  ma  part  je 
donnerai  mon  buste  en  bronze.  Et  puis,  la  Societ6 
desire  d'acheter  '  1'Age  d'Airain.'  Qa  ira  1  nous  allons 
voir  a  Dublin  une  galerie  dont  on  parlera  quand  ceux  qui 
aiment,  soit  l'Art,  ou  soit  PIrlande — ou  les  deux — auront 
joui  pendant  des  siecles  du  repos  de  la  mort.  Et  pendant 
ce  temps  la  le  peuple  Irlandais,  endormi  dans  la  douleur, 
mais  si  dispose  a  la  vie,  et  a  l'Art,  se  reveillera  a  1'appel 
de  vos  chef-d'ceuvres. 

Je  suis  desole  d'entendre  ce  mot  funeste — la  grippe — 
soignez-vous  bien,  et  agr6ez  1'assurance  de  mon  ann'tie" 
profonde  et  mes  souhaits  ardents  que  le  nouvel  an  vous 
comble  de  bienfaits.  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

521 

To  his  Mother 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 

PHOENIX  PARK,  DUBLIN,  27.12.04, 

St.  Stephen's  Day. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — The  enamel  is  too  lovely. 
We  are  overjoyed  to  have  it.  You  spoil  us  both. 

Mr.  Lane  is  very  anxious  to  get  one  of  your  paintings 
for  the  Gallery  of  Modern  Art  which  he,  and  others,  are 
starting  in  Dublin.  We  are  trying  to  buy  the  best  of 
old  Forbes's  collection  for  £30,000,  and  many  of  the  great 
have  given  a  work  each.  Watts  left  one  in  his  will.  I 
should  like  to  see  one  of  yours  in  your  own  city. 

They  want  Rodin's  bust  of  my  '  nob.'  I  think  you 
will  like  it ;  even  if  Sibell  is  right  in  saying  that  it  is  more 
like  Guy  than  me.  Rodin  writes  that  the  mould  plucked 
out  the  eyes  in  the  plaster  proof  which  I  have.  This 
gives  the  full  face  a  worried  look  that  will  disappear  when 
the  deep  shadows  are  gone.  White  plaster  is  not  a  good 
medium.  Indeed,  unless  lit  only  by  a  suffused  top  light 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  119 

the  shadows  are  exaggerated,  as  in  a  photographic  nega- 
tive.    It  is  a  very  fine  and  instructive  piece  of  work. 

With  thanks  over  and  over  again,  beloved  Mamma, 
for  the  beautiful  enamel. — Your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 


522 

To  his  Father 

CHIEF  SECRETARY'S  LODGE, 
PH<ENIX  PARK,  DUBLIN,  January  2-ith,  1905. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  am  much  pleased  to  hear  your 
appreciation  of  the  Rodin  bust.  It  is  a  great  work  apart 
from  the  likeness.  It  might  be  called  '  I'homme  a 
quarante.'  There  are  fine  busts  of  youths  and  also  of 
old  men  with  completed  careers  carved  in  their  faces. 
Each  type  has  its  own  repose  ;  and  can,  more  or  less, 
easily  be  rendered.  But  the  '  man  of  forty '  is  hard  to 
render.  Rodin  has  captured  the  blend  of  fatigue  and 
alacrity  and  created  a  new  type. 

I  have  loved  sculpture  since  I  was  at  Rome  in  1887 
and  think  such  a  bust  for  £400  a  far  more  interesting 
possession  than  a  picture  for  £1500. 

Pamela  and  Eddy  are  here  with  little  Clare.  They 
enjoy  the  place  very  much. 

Love  to  all. — Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 


523 

To  his  Mother 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
February  18th,  1905. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  love  your  letter.  I  am 
quite  happy  and  now  that  the  big  4  Cat ' — Dudley — is 
out  of  the  bag,  no  longer  worried. 

My  only  remaining  anxiety  is,  not  to  be  apologetic,  and 
to  avoid  talking  about  myself;  I  don't  want  to  excul- 
pate myself  by  '  sitting  on  '  Dudley  and  Antony. 


120         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

Uncle  D.'s  speech  was  outrageous  in  the  Lords.  I  can, 
however,  show  that  without  attacking  him. 

I  feel  much  more  free  and  light-hearted  than  at  any 
time  these  last  four  and  a  half  months,  and  Arthur  is  a 
'  brick.'  The  only  difficulty  now  is  a  purely  technical 
one.  On  Monday  I  shall  be  by  way  of  repelling  a  Home 
Rule  amendment  to  an  audience  exclusively  concerned 
with  the  personal  question  of  Dunraven,  MacDonnell, 
Dudley  and  self. 

Nobody  will  listen  to  me  on  the  motion  before  the 
House  and  then  they  will  say  that  I '  shelved  it.' 

I  can't  go  quite  so  far  as  Arthur  in  his  parting  words 
to  me  last  night : — '  Well,  George,  I  really  think  you  '11 
have  very  good  fun  on  Monday.'  We  shall  see.  Any- 
how my  spirits  are  bounding  up  because  I  am  not  one 
of  the  throng  '  whose  sails  were  never  to  the  tempest 
given.' — Your  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

524 
To  Mrs.  Drew 

85  PARK  LANE, 

February  24M,  1905. 

You  are  an  Angel !  Sibell  will  tell  you  how  grateful, 
and  almost  necessary,  to  me  at  this  moment  is  such  a 
letter  from  such  a  friend.  My  brain  is  rather  weary  and 
I  take  gloomy  views  ;  which  is  absurd. 

So  I  'm  off  for  two  days  to  Clouds,  to 

'  Flee  far  away,  dissolve  and  quite  forget 

What  Thou  among  the  leaves  hast  never  known, 
The  weariness,  the  Fever,  and  the  Fret — ' 

Yours  gratefully  and  affectionately,  G.  W. 

P.S. — I  underline  Fever  because,  just  at  moments,  I 
have  felt  like  Shadrach,  Meshach  and  Abednego  rolled 
into  one. 

But  that 's  all  nonsense — I  really  had  nothing  to  do 
but  to  say  everything. 


CHAPTER  X 

MARCH  1905  TO  JANUARY  1906 

Illness    and    journey    abroad  —  Lecture    on    Ronsard  —  Election 
Campaign. 

525 

To  his  Father 

FRANKFURTER-HOF,  FRANKFURT  A.  MAIN, 
St.  Patrick's  Day,  March  17,  1905. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — Percy  will  have  given  you  a  good 
account  of  us.  I  am  making  steady  progress  and  hope 
earnestly  that  neither  you,  nor  Mamma,  nor  Mary,  nor 
Manenai  nor  anyone  will  be  in  the  least  anxious  about 
me  or  doubtful  of  my  being  quite  myself  at  an  early  date. 
I  want  to  '  potter  '  for  a  time.  Then  I  will  do  as  much 
Veightly  etc.  as  anybody  may  desire.  But,  at  present, 
I  want  to  stop  introspection  of  mind  and  body.  Distance 
and  the  Spring  will  heal  me  up  to  the  point  at  which 
Doctors  may  begin. 

If  I  were  in  England  I  could  not  rest.  I  should  want 
to  help  Arthur  at  every  turn  and  fret  because  that  would 
be  impossible. 

We  mean — as  at  present  advised — to  go  on  to  Lucerne. 
The  English  papers  come  here  and  I  can't  resist  reading 
them.  So  I  am  going  further  afield. 

Fondest  love  to  Mamma,  Ditch  and  all. — Your  most 
loving  son,  GEORGE. 

P.S. — I  can  never  say  how  much  I  realised  and  appre- 
ciated all  you  were  to  me  at  Clouds.  When  I  get  there 
again  I  shall  be  another  person. 

121 


122         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

526 

To  his  Mother 

HOTEL  MONOPOL  &  METROPOLE, 
LUCERNE,  March  19th,  1905. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  must  send  you  one  line  of 
great  love.  S.  S.  will  have  told  you  that  I  am  much 
better  to-day.  My  plan  of  aimless  travelling  suits  me 
best.  As  I  get  farther  away  the  impossibility  of  answer- 
ing letters  becomes  a  physical  fact  and,  by  degrees,  I 
let  the  ropes  that  bind  me  to  the  past  slip  away.  We 
paddled  peacefully  in  a  steamer  up  the  lake  to  Brunnen 
and  back  from  2.15  to  6  this  afternoon.  I  enjoyed  it  and 
felt  much  healthier  after  the  air.  Air  is  what  I  need.  I 
shall  not  hurry  back. 

We  are  quite  idle,  except  that  S.  S.  writes  letters.  I 
don't. 

I  have  read  the  second  volume  of  Creighton's  Life 
and  enjoyed  the  theological  hair-splitting.  He  was  too 
clever.  But  I  read  very  little.  I  don't  want  to  spoil 
any  poetry  by  reading  it  now.  It  is  sufficient  to  see 
the  wild  duck  swing  in  pairs  over-head,  and  to  watch 
the  tame  ducks  and  coots  squabbling  for  bread  under 
the  old  bridge. 

Sibell  is  reconciled  to  Lucerne  because  it  reminds  her 
of  Earl's  Court ! 

The  contests  in  Parliament  over  estimates  and  Jam 
look  very  small  from  here,  as  reported  in  the  '  Daily  Tele- 
graph.' So  I  turn  back  to  the  Ducks  and  Coots ;  their 
squabbles  are  more  interesting. 

I  see  that  my  dear  Congested  District  Board  passed 
vote  of  thanks  to  me. 

Now  I  am  going  to  bed  9.45.  All  love  to  you  darling, 
and  to  Papa,  Ditch  and  all  dear  ones. — Your  most  loving 
son,  GEORGE. 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  123 

527 

To  his  Mother 

HOTEL  AUGST,  BORDIGHKRA, 
ITALIE,  Friday,  March  24th,  1905. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  got  your  letter  to-day  out 
of  the  Poste  Restante.  We  are  anxious  about  darling 
Lettice.  She  had  an  operation  yesterday.  We  only 
heard  by  telegram  last  night.  But  it  was — thank  God — 
successful  and  her  state  satisfactory.  Sibell  cannot  start 
back  as  she  has  a  chill — nothing  serious.  But  there  it 
is.  ... 

A  good  doctor,  Dr.  Danvers  came  early  this  morning. 
It  is  a  chill  with  temperature  only  one  degree  up  (99*4). 
I  am  taking  the  greatest  care  of  her  :  giving  her  milk  and 
a  recommended  water,  and  Brand's  essence  of  chicken. 

We  can  only  pray  for  darling  Lettie  and  wait  and  be 
patient.  Sibell  cannot  travel  until  her  temperature  is  down. 

She  went  out  again  the  day  before  yesterday  in  the 
evening.  It  was  raining  and  she  got  this  chill.  I  was 
asleep  from  4  to  8  o'clock,  or  I  should  have  kept  her  in. 

There  is  some  sun  to-day.  We  have  two  windows  wide 
open  to  the  sea. 

Darling  Mamma  I  hope  your  leg  is  really  well.  Take 
great  care  of  yourself. 

There  is  nothing  to  do  except  to  get  Sibell  well  and 
pray  for  Lettice. — Your  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

Thanks  for  the  nice  '  pig  '  letter. 

We  are  as  near  home  here  as  at  Lucerne.  It  is  very 
quiet.  I  am  much  better  and,  of  course,  too  absorbed 
in  Sibell  and  sweet  Leffie  to  think  of  insignificant  things. 

GEORGE. 

528 

To  his  Mother 

HOTEL  AUGST, 
BORDIGHERA,  Friday,  March  24th,  1905. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — We  are  much  happier  to-night. 
We  got  good  telegrams  about  darling  Leffie  at  3.15  and 


124         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

SibelPs  temperature  was  down  almost  to  normal  when 
the  doctor  came  at  5  o'clock.  Also  she  has  had  four 
4  goes '  of  milk  and  '  San  Gemini '  and  one  of  Brands' 
Essence  since  1  o'clock.  So  we  are  much  happier. 

The  blatant  picture  of  this  hotel  on  the  writing-paper 
strikes  the  grotesque  note,  never  absent  from  crisis.  And 
the  perfect  beauty  of  the  sun-lit  day  whilst  we  waited 
and  waited  for  news  also  seemed  familiar.  These  moments 
reconstruct  one's  life.  In  the  evening  there  was  a  fine 
thunderstorm  in  the  hills  ;  but  the  sunset  beat  the  storm, 
enveloping  its  edges  and  piercing  its  ragged  rims  with  a 
rosy-copper-golden  suffusion  and  long  gleams  of  light 
across  the  sea. 

Taking  care  of  Sibell  has  cured  me.  We  are  not  like 
*  buckets  in  a  well,'  but  like  acrobats  who  alternately 
support  each  other. 

I  avoid  the  Table  d'hote  and  dine,  with  a  book,  in  the 
deserted  Restaurant.  Across  the  '  dead  waste '  of  the 
waxed  floor  the  Grand  Duke  Cyril,  who  went  down  in 
the  iron-clad  at  Port  Arthur,  dines  with  an  Aide-de-camp. 
So,  like  the  two  ship-wrecked  mariners  in  the  Ballads 
(who  had  not  been  introduced),  we  '  consider  ourselves  ' 
apart.  Yet  that  is  not  quite  it.  Men  do  not  moralize 
in  breathing  spaces  after  a  storm — or  between  storms  ? 
They  wonder  like  children  at  a  world  which  is  new  to 
them  and  full  of  little  things  and  big  things  of  surprising 
interest.  4  Cceli  enarrant ' — '  The  Heavens  declare  the 
Glory  of  God  '  in  sunlight  and  storm  :  and,  then  again, 
to  think  that  each  sheet  of  this  paper  is  covered  with  a 
bit  of  flimsy  to  protect  the  engraving  of  the  Hotel  Augst ! 
Such  are  the  artless  Heavens  ;  such  is  ingenious  Man  in 
the  XXth  century.  A  piece  of  the  flimsy  paper  has — 
you  will  observe — adhered  to  the  engraving. 

I,  now,  read  the  Psalms  to  Sibell.  The  first  one  for 
to-day — CXVI — is  the  one  set  apart  for  little  ladies 
saved  from  danger  of  death.  We  took  it  for  an  omen — 
a  good  omen — whilst  we  waited  for  news  of  Lettie  : 
4  Quia  eripuit  animam  meam  de  morte,'  '  because  he  has 
snatched  my  darling  from  death.' 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  MADELINE  125 

And  now,  Good  -night  to  you,  Darling  !  I  have  been 
writing  for  company  as  Sibell  is  dozing.  The  night  is 
lovely  from  our  balcony.  A  cool  wind  is  shuffling  the 
palms.  The  cadence  of  the  frogs'  chorus  rises  and  falls. 
A  light  is  leaping  from  a  far-off  promontory.  I  can  hear 
a  train  coming  the  whole  length  of  the  Riviera  with  a 
meaning  noise.  And,  so,  really  Good-night  and  love  to 
you  all. 

Lady  Day. 

Doctor  gives  capital  account  of  S.  S.  He  has  gone 
down-stairs  to  order  a  light  pudding  (!)  which  she  is  to 
eat  at  12  o'clock.  So  there  you  are  ! 

All  love  to  you  all. — Your  devoted  son,          GEORGE. 


529 

To  his  Sister,  Madeline 


HOTEL  AUGST, 
30th  March  1905. 


MOST  DARLING  MANENAi, — This  is  to  wish  you  many, 
many  happy  returns  of  your  dear  birthday,  to-morrow. 
It  will  reach  you  too  late.  For  I  took  a  long  walk  on  the 
hills  yesterday  and  missed  the  post.  But  I  have  been 
remembering  your  birthday  for  several  days  past  and 
often  thinking  of  you,  Darling.  I  am  so  full  of  thankful- 
ness for  darling  Lettie's  escape  that  I  am  not  troubling 
to  think  of  anything  else.  This  is  a  good  place  when  you 
get  up  into  the  hills  behind  it.  The  little  Duchess  of 
Leeds  lives  up  in  the  hills  at  the  back  and  Lady  Paget 
and  Lady  Windsor  have  been  staying  there  since  Friday. 
So  I  have  been  two  expeditions  with  them.  At  other 
tunes  after  taking  care  of  S.  S.  I  just  go  up  a  hill  and 
pretend  to  read  some  little  old  Italian  books  which  I  bought 
at  Milan.  I '  pickle  away  '  occasionally  at  Virgil's  Georgics 
and  enjoy  the  Psalms  in  Latin.  My  theory  is  that  when 
one  is  tired  it  is  restful  to  read  in  languages  one  but  half 
understands.  You  can't  race  through  and  it  reproduces 


126          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

the  pleasing  ignorance  of  childhood  to  wonder  what 
things  mean  exactly.  We  are  going  on,  I  believe,  to 
Florence  to  stay  with  Lady  Paget.  Her  conversation 
has  the  same  feature  of  being  partially  unintelligible, 
so  that  I  need  not  dispute  propositions  which  I  do  not 
understand  and — without  sacrifice  of  truth — give  a  tacit 
assent  to  Vegetarianism,  Metempsychosis  and  the  virtues 
of  the  German  Emperor.  S.  S.  is  really  resting  and  quite 
*  chirpy  '  again.  Give  my  love  to  Charlie  and  the  Poussins. 
I  am  longing  to  see  you,  Beloved.  I  hope  to  be  very  free 
from  work  and  care  this  summer,  and  so  to  have  time  to 
enjoy  you. — Ever  your  devoted  brother,  GEORGE. 


530 

To  his  Mother 

TORRE  m  BELLOSGUARDO, 
April  7th,  1905. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  had  a  great  time  all  this 
morning  in  the  Laurentian  Library  with  the  Director 
Biagi.  The  illuminations  are  wonderful.  A  Psalter  for 
Corvinus  J  King  of  Hungary  is  most  beautiful.  I  had  out 
all  the  MSS.  of  Virgil,  Boccacio,  Alfieri,  a  Jarrow  Bible 
of  680  ;  Tacitus  and  so  on.  We  had  a  great  talk  about 
Castiglione's  Courtier  and  I  promised  to  write  him  a 
short  article  on  the  influence  of  that  book  in  England 
through  Hoby's  translation.  I  am  trying  to  learn  Italian 
and  can  read  the  newspaper  and  old  poetry  pretty  well, 
but  nothing  else  between  those  extremes  so  far. 

Lady  Paget  is  excellent  company  full  of  scandal,  forty 
years  old,  which,  like  old  wine,  gains  in  strength  and 
loses  in  acerbity.  The  Spring  here  is  divine.  I  am 

1  Mathias  Corvinus  was  elected  King  of  Hungary  in  1459.  He  defeated  the 
Turks  in  1474,  and  waged  war  successfully  as  an  independent  sovereign  against 
the  Empire,  laying  siege  to  and  taking  Vienna  in  1477.  The  psalter  was 
ordered  by  Lorenzo  il  Magnifico  for  the  King,  but  Corvinus  died  in  1490 
before  the  book  had  been  delivered.  Lorenzo  himself  died  two  years  later  and 
the  psalter  remained  in  Florence. 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  127 

rather  idle  about  picture  galleries.  I  remembered  them 
all  too  well.  The  buildings,  sculptures  and  illuminated 
MSS.  are  my  principal  toys.  One  of  the  latter  had  days 
of  creation  that  B.  J.  would  have  loved,  rather,  no  doubt, 
did  love.  I  long  to  look  at  these  illuminations  with  you. 
They  are  better  than  any  I  knew  at  the  British  Museum 
and  they  gain  enormously  by  being  where  they  are,  in 
the  library  of  the  Medici,  to  whom  they  were  brought  by 
the  earliest  humanists.  One  gives  me  a  great  thrill :  a 
beautifully  illuminated  MS.  of  Aristotle  in  Latin,  written 
by  Agiropoulos,  the  Greek  from  Constantinople,  and 
given  to  Lorenzo  with  a  picture  of  Agiropoulus  on  the 
first  page.  That  is  the  revival  of  learning  with  a  ven- 
geance. And  there  it  is  in  his  library.  There  is  also  a 
fine  Latin  Bible  of  680  with  gold  letters  on  purple  vellum 
for  the  front  sheet  and  excellent  illuminations.  It  was 
written  at  Jarrow  in  Northumberland  and  after  many 
adventures  is  here.  The  name  of  the  Northumbrian 
Abbot  has  been  erased  and  an  Italian  name  substituted. 
What  you  would  enjoy  with  me  is  the  picture  of  the  life 
at  Jarrow  hi  680  proving — as  I  always  maintain — that 
people  were  just  as,  or  more,  civilised  then.  The  book- 
case might  have  been  made  by  Morris  from  a  design  of 
Webb — i.e.  the  bookcase  depicted  in  the  illumination 
with  lovely  books  bound  in  red  lying  side  by  side  in  the 
shelves  and  the  table  would  do  for  tea  in  our  gold  room 
at  '  35.'  It  is  by  looking  at  these  illuminations  and 
reading  in  the  fresh  handwriting  Latin  which  might  be 
written  to-day,  of  an  easy-going  simple,  modern  kind  ; 
that  you  can  dispel  the  false  conceit  of  archaism  of  age. 
It  is  all  fresh  and  full  of  new  life  as  the  Spring.  The 
people  who  wrote  and  painted  it  might '  ha  died  o'  Wednes- 
day '  or  meet  one  to-morrow.  This  gives  the  sense  of 
Eternity  and  makes  Time  and  Age  and  Death  the  accidents 
they  are.  '  I  am  not  Time's  fool.'  The  old  book-shop 
of  Frances-chini  would  have  proved  as  tempting  to  you 
as  to  me,  with  our  love  of  rubbish.  I  bought  an  old 
Decameron,  a  Plutarch's  Morals  in  Latin  and  a  Bembo  : 
glorious  rubbish.  The  old  books  were  piled  four  feet  deep 


128         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

on  the  floor  and  the  aged,  very  dirty,  enthusiast  encou- 
raged me  to  wade  in  them  and  take  what  I  liked. 

Love  to  all. — Your  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 


531 

To  his  Father 

TORRE  m  BELLOSGUARDO, 
FIRENZE,  April  llth,  1905. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  was  amused  by  your  postcard 
and  subsequent  letter  to  Lady  Paget.  I  wrote  to  Mamma 
a  day  or  two  ago.  But  I  am  so  idle  and  contented  as 
to  make  me  lazy  about  writing.  The  after-momentum 
of  high-pressure  maintained  through  years  has  expended 
itself.  I  am  in  a  state  of  passive  and  peaceful  enjoy- 
ment, detached  from  any  immediate  purpose.  Some 
people  lunched  here  on  Saturday,  the  Humphrey  Wards 
and  Placi,  a  dilettante  Italian,  who  remembers  you  all 
at  4  Lung  Arno  and  pretends  to  remember  me.  I  had 
a  pleasant  talk  to  him  about  modern  Italian  poetry  and 
walked  with  him  in  the  afternoon.  On  Sunday  I  took 
a  slashing  walk  of  nine  miles  beyond  the  Certosa  and  back 
by  a  westward  loop  along  the  valley  of  the  Greve  river. 
After  four  o'clock  Lord  Halifax  called  and  I  walked  with 
him  for  another  two  hours.  I  called  on  the  Stanhopes 
one  evening  and  was  made  very  welcome  as  a  cousin. 
Yesterday  the  morning  was  divine  with  a  hot  sun  and 
air  like  champagne.  I  took  Sibell  to  San  Marco  the 
Annunziata,  Peragirn's  fresco  in  St.  Maddelena  de  Pazzi 
and  the  Belle  Arti.  We  met  May  Talbot  and  Lord  and 
Lady  Wolseley.  But  I  have  not  slaved  at  sight-seeing. 
I  care  much  for  only  a  few  pictures  and  prefer  to  receive 
general  impressions.  Lady  Paget  and  selves  lunched 
formally  with  the  Stanhopes,  talked  of  B.  J.  and  Morris 
and  Rosetti.  Afterwards  I  called  on  Lady  Airlie  who 
has  been  very  kind  to  me.  We  returned  at  4  for  Lady 
Paget's  '  day.'  There  came  a  delightful  old  Princess 
aged  80  with  whom  I  conducted  an  animated  conversa- 


TO  HIS  FATHER  129 

tion  in  French,  several  Italian  Princesses  or  swells  of 
sorts,  and  Lady  Mabel  Howard,  a  sister  of  Lord  Antrim. 
I  have  read  a  good,  gossipy  book  in  two  volumes  about 
La  Grande  Mademoiselle,  Lauzun  and  the  Court  of  Louis 
Quatorze.  I  learn  a  little  Italian.  I  have  also  been  read- 
ing Lady  Paget's  Memories.  They  are  very  interesting  on 
Diplomatic  Society  in  Copenhagen,  Florence  and  Rome  for 
1860-1872.  I  am  trying  to  get  Sibell  rested.  For  myself, 
the  general  plan  of  the  day  is,  breakfast  with  Lady  Paget 
in  the  garden  at  8-30 ;  lunch  in  the  open  loggia  upstairs 
at  1  o'clock,  dinner  at  8,  conversation  to  10  o'clock 
and  then  to  bed  reading  Memoires  and  so  forth  till  11 
or  12  o'clock.  Lady  Paget  is  a  most  agreeable  companion. 
Between-whiles  I  walk,  spend  a  good  deal  of  time  in  the 
Laurentian  library  with  Biagi  and  enjoy  the  general 
architecture  more  than  the  pictures  with  a  few  excep- 
tions. We  do  not  change  much.  The  pictures  and  statues 
which  I  picked  out  in  -87  and  -95  are  still  the  only  ones 
to  me.  I  have  learned  little  since  then  except  about 
literature  and  history.  Art  belongs  to  no  particular  date 
or  place.  A  little  of  it  is  very  good,  eternal  and  universal. 
The  rest  is  unimportant.  In  a  way — though  it  takes 
longer  to  discover  this — only  a  certain  number  of  people 
and  books  are  important  and  these,  also,  have  always 
been  the  same ;  just  like  the  thrushes  that  are  now  sing- 
ing, and  the  ilex  trees  on  which  they  sing.  I  enjoy  it 
all,  art,  books,  people  and  nature  and — in  my  present 
mood — do  not  want  to  change  anything.  It  seems 
simpler  to  appreciate  what  is  good  and  ignore  the  rest. 

The  '  Guards  '  plan  of  which  Percy  writes  exists — in 
common  with  all  Army  plans  at  present — only  in  embryo. 
I  shall  not  oppose  his  wishes  if  the  plan  is  ever  defined 
and  adopted  ;  and  I  have  written  to  Codrington.  Mean- 
while he  cannot  do  better  than  read  for  Oxford.  He  is 
counting  the  days  to  his  Easter  holiday  and  longs  to 
be  at  Clouds.  I  look  forward  to  being  there  again  in 
good  health  and  taking  long  rides. 

I  should  have  preferred  the  Oxford  method  of  entry 
for  it  would  have  allowed  of  travel  abroad  with  Percy. 

VOL.  II.  I 


130          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

I  want  to  bring  him  here.     He  must  learn  to  speak  French 
also. 

All  love  to  darling  Mamma  and  Ditch. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

532 

To  his  Mother 

FRANKFURTER-HOF, 
FRANKFURT  A.  MAIN,  April  14th,  1905. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — We  are  on  our  way  back  by 
easy  stages.  As  Percy's  establishment  here  is  closed  for 
Easter  holidays,  it  is  absurd  to  keep  him  doing  nothing 
and  he  longs  to  be  at  Clouds.  I  do  not  much  want  to 
be  back  before  the  House  rises.  But  it  is  dull  to  stay 
here  without  him.  So  I  shall  come  quietly  to  Clouds  and 
arrive  Tuesday  or  Wednesday.  I  will  telegraph  the  train 
when  I  get  to  England.  Perf  has  to  leave  us  from  Easter 
Tuesday  to  Friday  for  an  exam,  at  Oxford  ;  an  addi- 
tional reason  for  not  delaying  here.  We  are  sending  a 
horse  and  Perfection  with  a  groom  to  Clouds  for  riding. 

I  am  really  very  well  and  in  excellent  spirits.  I  enjoyed 
Florence  enormously  but  will  keep  all  the  news  till  I 
arrive. 

As  I  say  I  hope  to  arrive  Tuesday,  or  Wednesday,  but 
I  don't  mean  to  racket  myself  by  travelling  too  fast  as  I 
want  to  prove  that  Italy  is  a  better  cure  than  Electricity. 
And  I  must  do  justice  to  my  own  prescription.  Love  to 
all. — Your  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 


533 
To  Mrs.  Hinkson 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
May  17th,  1905. 

DEAR  MRS.  TYNAN-HINKSON, — I  am  grateful  to  you 
for  having  written  and  for  what  you  have  written.  I  was 
glad  to  get  your  book  and  thought  that,  perhaps,  you 


TO  CHARLES  WALDSTEIN  131 

would  write.  And  now  we  have  only  got  to  wait  for  the 
next  chance  of  helping  somebody,  whoever  he  may  be, 
to  get  something  done.  You  must  never  for  one  moment 
allow  yourself  to  believe  that  Ireland  is  unlucky,  or  that 
she  brings  ill-luck.  It  is  because  people  allow  themselves 
to  believe  this  that  things  sometimes  go  wrong  in  Ireland 
or,  rather,  that  it  is  harder  to  set  them  right  when  they 
do  go  wrong ;  in  Ireland  as  elsewhere.  The  great  thing 
is  to  be  quite  sure  that : — 

'  All  we  have  hoped  of  good  shall  exist, 
not  its  semblance,  but  itself.  .  .  / 

If  enough  people  believe  that  a  great  many  will  live  to 
see  it.  Your  books  help  me  to  believe  this.  That  is 
why  I  want  you  to  go  on  writing  books  in  the  same  vein 
of  charity  and  it  is  one  of  the  reasons  why  I  am, — Yours 
gratefully,  GEORGE. 


534 

To  Charles  Waldstein 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
May  17th,  1905. 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — When  I  left  England  for  the 
continent  I  was  too  ill  to  read  the  many,  many  letters 
written  me  by  my  friends.  They  were  kept  from  me  till 
my  return,  and  then  my  first  duty  was  to  attend  to  arrears 
of  work  that  called  for  immediate  attention. 

But  now  it  is  a  great  solace  to  me  to  read  such  letters 
as  the  one  you  wrote. 

This  is  not  yet  the  time  to  say  or  write  anything  of  my 
work  and  hopes  in  Ireland.  Yet  the  hopes  are  not  extin- 
guished. I  dare  to  believe  that  these  vicissitudes  will 
have  their  uses  for  many.  For  me,  at  least,  they  have 
brought  friends  nearer. — Ever  your  friend, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 


132          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

535 

To  Wilfrid  Ward 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
May  28th,  1905. 

MY  DEAR  WILFBID, — I  have  read  your  article  with 
great  interest.  It  is  a  fine  piece  of  psychological  analysis. 
In  an  ideal  world  no  one  would  be  expected  to  say  '  yes  ' 
or  *  no  '  to  a  project  for  closer  commercial  union  with  the 
Colonies.  You  cannot  do  so  '  without  prejudice.' 

During  the  Boer  War  when  the  French  press  was  out- 
rageous to  our  feelings,  no  sensible  man  would  have 
declared  for  or  against  an  understanding  with  France. 
In  theology  many  express  an  aspiration  towards  the  re- 
union of  Christendom.  But  they  do  so  at  their  peril. 
And  their  peril  is  extreme  if  the  aspiration  is  connected 
with  some  concrete  questions  as  e.g.  the  validity  of  Orders. 

Yours  ever,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

536 

To  Philip  Hanson 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
June  6th,  '05. 

MY  DEAR  P.  H., — Thanks  for  a  clean  breath  from  the 
Atlantic  and  for  soft  airs  from  Donegal.  It  was  good  of 
you  to  write  at  such  length,  and  very  good  for  me.  And 
yet  another  set  of  '  Western  '  photographs  links  me  across 
the  breach  to  the  happy  past.  I  am  very  glad  to  hear 
of  Meredith  and  the  old  man  who  waved  his  cap  for  us 
from  the  rock  at  Kincasslagh. 

Meanwhile  do  not  be  concerned  for  my  health.  I  have 
made  a  distinct  advance  since  last  Saturday,  which  I  spent 
at  Eton  (3rd,  for  4th  of  June — a  Sunday)  quietly  with 
Ainger  and  Lulu  Harcourt.  I  missed  Percy  and  felt 
sentimental  when  the  '  Thelion  '  swept  by  in  green  and 
purple. 


TO  PHILIP  HANSON  133 

My  interests  have  been  varied  and  not  onerous.  I  have 
been  in  close  touch  with  the  P.  M.  over  Albert  Hall,  and 
with  other  anxious  hearts.  Lansdowne  was  good  in  the 
Lords  yesterday. 

I  have  also  been  engaged  with  Crundall  and  Mowll 
over  Dover  Harbour  and  the  Railways.  This  is  interest- 
ing. The  Harbour  Board  and  the  Railways  have  come 
to  a  complete  deadlock.  If  I  can  persuade  them  to  '  drop 
their  swords  and  daggers,'  I  shall  do  a  big  thing  for 
everybody  concerned.  Why  is  it  so  hard  to  persuade 
people  to  follow  their  own  interests  instead  of  attacking 
the  interests  of  others  ?  As  in  Ireland,  a  number  of  in- 
genious gentlemen  have  devoted  their  intellects  and 
other  people's  money  during  three  years  to  achieve  the 
following  results :  (1)  No  proper  accommodation  at 
Dover ;  (2)  £700,000  spent  at  Folkestone  which  cannot 
be  made  into  a  port  ;  (3)  A  poll-tax  on  all  passengers  and 
no  visible  results ;  (4)  Worse  services  to  the  Continent ; 

(5)  Railways,   no  power  to  evict  the  Harbour  Board ; 

(6)  Harbour  Board,  no  power  to  spend  another  penny 
without   guarantee   from   Railways.     A    complete    stale- 
mate, as  the  sole  result  of  years  of  work  and  an  expendi- 
ture   of    £1,300,000.     It    shocks    nobody ;     it    surprises 
nobody,  and  everybody  is  solely  interested  to  show  how 
cleverly  he  stopped  the  other  fellow  at  every  stage,  and 
how  easy  it  will  be  to  go  on  doing  so  '  ad  infinitum.' 

I  dine  with  Lansdowne  to  meet  the  King  of  Spain 
to-morrow,  and  then  I  am  off  to  '  camp '  with  my  Yeomanry 
in  Delamere  Forest.  You  must  approve  of  that ! 

Later  I  go  to  Dover  and  make  myself  pleasant  to  all — 
eschewing  oratory  and  dilating — merely— -on  *  our  Historic 
Past.' 

The  Cabinet-making  of  the  Opposition  will  become 
delirious  now  that  Lansdowne  has  suggested  that  there 
may  actually  be  an  Election  within  a  year.  It  was  obvious 
that  we  could  not  deal  with  the  report  of  a  Conference 
which  only  meets  in  June  1906,  and  may  not  report  till 
we  should  be  in  a  seventh  Session.  Yet  good  men  and 
true  worry  over  it,  and  take  God  to  witness,  and  quarrel 


134          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

for  all  the  world  as  if  anything  ever  did  happen.  Whereas 
it  is  well  known  that  nothing  ever  does  happen  except 
of  course,  casus,  4  fallings  down.'  '  All  the  King's  horses 
and  all  the  King's  men  '  are  perennially  engaged  on  the 
abortive  hoisting  of  Humpty-Dumpty.  That  is  Politics. 

Occasionally  it  is  well  to  take  a  turn  in  the  part  of 
Humpty-Dumpty.  I  was  amused  to  hear  that,  when 
A.  J.  B.'s  illness  threatened  non-appearance  at  the  Albert 
Hall,  an  anxious  group  of  Conservative  M.P.'s,  after 
ruling  out  Liberal  Unionists  and  Beach  and  Douglas, 
wondered  whether  I  could  be  got  back  in  time  to  take 
the  meeting  1  How  funny  of  them  not  to  guess  that 
Humpty-Dumpty  sticks  to  the  privilege  of  inertia — sits, 
falls  and  acquiesces  in  re-hoisting — but  never  climbs. — 
Yours  ever,  G.  W. 


537 

To  his  Mother 

OAKHERB  CAMP, 
NORTHWICH,  June  13,  1905. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  got  your  delightful  letter — 
a  nice  fat  one — and,  as  our  Field-day  is  put  off  for  half 
an  hour,  am  answering  straight  away.  What  fun  you 
and  uncle  Freddy  and  the  two  Jackasses  must  be  having 
all  together.  I  am  very  glad  the  two  Jackasses  have 
arrived.  I  hate  any  change  in  places  that  I  love  and 
missed  their  laughter  the  last  few  times  at  Clouds. 

I  am  very  well.  We  have  the  first  sprinkle  of  rain 
this  morning.  Till  now  it  has  been  as  dry  as  a  bone  here. 
The  nights  were  cold ;  but  I  thrived  on  them.  At  first 
I  put  on  long  drawers  under  my  pyjamas  and  many 
blankets  and  a  fur  rug.  But  as  that  almost  crushed  me 
011  a  camp  bed  and  as  I  became  rapidly  acclimatised  I 
now  sleep  with  only  a  couple  of  blankets.  This  is  a 
lovely  spot — a  long  upland  glade  one  and  a  half  mile  by 
a  third  of  a  mile  with  the  forest  on  each  side,  Scotch  firs, 
birches,  chestnuts  and  bracken.  We  are  on  the  high 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  135 

ground  on  the  further  side  of  '  High  Billings '  from 
Saighton.  I  spent  Sunday  there  with  Sibell  and  felt 
quite  keen  to  get  back  to  my  books  and  the  garden. 
The  Yeomanry  has  made  a  good  transition  from  Ireland 
back  to  Cheshire.  Everybody  is  so  pleased  to  see  us 
and  all  the  old  hunting  and  camp  stories  carry  me  back 
ten  years.  All  the  young  officers  are  good  fellows.  We 
drill,  or  manoeuvre  in  the  Forest  all  the  morning  and — 
in  the  afternoon — stimulated  by  our  C.  O.  Lord  Harrington 
we  cut  at  heads  and  posts  and  shoot  children's  coloured 
air-balloons  as  we  jump,  a  la  Dick  Turpin.  As  I  am 
always  really  only  sixteen  years  old  inside  I  enjoy  this 
as  much  as  Percy  could.  My  new  horse,  Terence,  takes 
to  soldiering  well.  He  is  very  fond  of  me  already  and 
wise.  Horses  are  immensely  proud  and  self-conscious 
when  they  find  themselves  with  hundreds  of  other  horses. 
They  think  that  the  uniforms  and  the  Flag-staff  and  the 
Trumpets  are  all  there  in  their  honour.  Personally  I 
know  no  better  amusement  than  commanding  a  squadron 
on  a  good  horse.  Arty  Grosvenor  and  Bendor  are  in 
the  squadron  and  all  the  young  riding  farmers  from 
round  Saighton.  Our  Sergeant  Major — from  the  Blues 
— weighs  20  stone  and  we  have  a  horse  in  the  ranks  over 
18  hands  high.  He  is  called  '  Dick '  which  amuses  me 
and  is  a  general  favourite.  Now  the  sun  is  bursting  out 
and  I  am  off  to  '  umpire  '  at  the  fight — a  canter  out  of 
five  miles  through  the  Forest.  We  shall  lunch  out  and 
be  six  or  seven  hours  in  the  saddle. 

I  will  let  you  know  about  coming  to  '  44.'  I  want 
Sibell  to  stay  at  Saighton  as  much  as  possible.  She 
rackets  herself  to  death  in  London  and  is  much  happier 
here. 

I  am  very  glad  that  they  made  Alphonso  Colonel  of 
the  16th.  I  read  about  the  Cavalry  charge  at  Aldershot 
and  heard  of  old  Guy  at  the  Court  Ball.  I  suppose  he 
will  get  a  Spanish  order  and  wear  a  locket. 

I  go  on  to  Letty's  Ball  at  Madresfield. 

Love  to  all. — Ever  your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 


136          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

538 

To  Wilfrid  Scawen  Blunt 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
June  22,  '05. 

MY  DEAR  WILFRID, — My  thoughts  turned  to  you  at 
Mamma's  Birthday  dinner  party  on  Tuesday.  And, 
now,  I  want  to  settle  a  day  for  my  visit  to  you  at  New- 
buildings.  Would  Saturday  July  1st  be  convenient  ? 
Between  now  and  then  I  have  to  go  to  Dover. 

Button  1  is  dining  with  me  here  to-night. 

The  Fancy  Dress  Ball  at  Madresfield — Lettice's  home 
— was  a  great  success.  Lettice  and  Beauchamp  appeared 
as  a  Lord  and  Lady  Beauchamp  of  Powick,  anno  1450. 
I  wore  my  Palaeologus  dress  of  1437  which  you  saw  once 
at  Saighton.  Percy — who  came  from  Germany — wore  a 
beautiful  Valois  dress,  and  Bendor  went  as  the  Earl  of 
Surrey — temp.  Henry  vin. — after  a  picture  at  Hampton 
Court.  They  made  a  fine  pair  and  Sibell  was  very  proud 
of  them.  She  wore  a  dress,  also  from  picture  at  Hampton 
Court,  of  Miss  Stewart,  afterwards  Duchess  of  Richmond. 
But  Sibell  called  herself  Margaret  Godolphin,  supposed 
to  be,  perhaps,  the  only  perfectly  respectable  lady  of  the 
Restoration  Court. 

I  hope  that  June  is  doing  you  good.  I  wrote  some 
verses  on  June  which  I  will  show  you  at  Newbuildings. — 
Ever  yours  affectionately,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

539 

To  Bertram  W indie 

44  BELGRAVE  SQUARE, 
July  I4th,  1905. 

MY  DEAR  DOCTOR  WINDLE, — Your  4  Wessex '  is  a 
delightful  book  to  read  at  any  time  and  in  any  place,  but, 
above  all,  in  London  and  mid  July.  I  am  most  grateful 

1  Hon.  Algernon  Bourke. 


TO  HIS  FATHER  137 

for  the  gift.  I  admire  Mr.  New's  illustrations.  Am  I 
right  in  believing  that  he  illustrated  one  of  the  Kelmscott 
books  ?  At  any  rate  the  combination  is  a  most  effective 
one. 

Wiltshire,  Dorset  and  the  Cotswolds  are  my  favourite 
tracks  in  England.  Some  day  I  hope  to  do  a  little  Wilt- 
shire with  you  from  Clouds,  my  father's  place. 

I  shall  press  Education  on  Mr.  Long.  It  is  the  thing 
most  needed  and  the  only  thing  that  can  be  done  under 
existing  circumstances. 

Thanking  you  again. — Yours  very  sincerely, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 


540 

To  his  Father 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  August  8th,  1905. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  appreciated  your  letter  and 
shall  follow  its  advice. 

I  am  very  well.  I  finished  my  lecture  on  Ronsard 
some  days  ago,  and  have  polished  it  up  without  effort. 

In  the  mornings  I  play  Polo  !  at  Eaton  or,  rather, 
knock  the  ball  about  with  Bendor  and  Shelagh  and 
two  of  the  Demigods  who  played  for  England  against 
America. 

Bendor  has  on  hand  a  Polo  Tournament.  It  is  great 
fun.  There  are  nine  teams  and  ninety-two  ponies,  worth 
£500  a  piece,  put  up  for  the  week. 

Hugh  Cecil  is  staying  with  me  and  is  quite  absorbed  in 
the  Polo.  At  first  we  were  rather  afraid  of  the  swells, 
Nickalls,  Millers,  Wilson  etc.  But  they  are  very  kind 
and  affable.  What  with  the  concentration  of  motors, 
the  herds  of  famous  ponies,  the  '  Bloods,'  the  wives 
of  the  'Bloods,'  the  bands  (1)  Military,  (2)  Gotlieb, 
the  concourse  of  the  County  etc.,  it  is  a  sort  of  Eglinton 
Tournament  '  up  to  date.' — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 


188         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 


541 

To  Charles  T.  Gatty 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  18th  August  '05. 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — It  was  delightful  to  see  your 
handwriting  in  a  letter  to  Sibell,  and  to  know  that  I  shall 
soon  see  you.  But  I  insist  on  more  than  one  day's  visit 
— that  is  absurd — and  I  propose  that  you  come  on,  or 
as  soon  after  September  1st  as  you  can  manage.  Cuckoo 
comes  on  the  first.  Try  and  come  1st  or  2nd  and  stay 
a  few  days.  I  have  invaded  the  upper  room  in  the  tower 
— the  4  girls'  schoolroom  ' — eheu  fugaces  !  There  I  feel 
like  the  Greek  tyrant  who  slept  in  the  top  storey  and 
pulled  the  ladder  up  after  him  through  a  hole  in  the  floor. 
The  room  is  cleared  and  whitewashed.  I  retain  my  own, 
old,  lower  room  also.  I  started  to  sort  my  books  on  the 
broad  principle  of  poetry,  literature,  books  of  reference, 
upstairs;  history,  politics,  philosophy,  science,  down- 
stairs. I  found  that  nine-tenths  of  the  books  in  each 
class  were  not  in  the  storey  of  their  ultimate  destination, 
but  in  the  other.  So  I  spent  2£  days  on  the  turret  stairs, 
perspiring  freely,  with  10  volumes  on  each  journey  clasped 
between  my  hands  and  chin.  Now  order  reigns,  and 
it  is  mighty  pleasant. 

Hugh  Cecil  spent  some  five  days  with  me.  We  dis- 
cussed most  of  the  Centuries  and  Continents,  read  Poetry, 
mapped  out  the  future  of  the  Church,  and  assigned  their 
provinces  and  ideals  to  novel  combinations  of  parties  in 
Home  Politics.  Also  we  attended,  day  by  day,  the 
Polo  Tournament  organised  by  Bendor  on  a  basis  of 
11  teams  and  92  ponies. 

I  wrote  a  lecture  on  Ronsard  and  delivered  it  at  Oxford 
in  my  Doctor's  gown. 

Now  I  perpend  and  wait  for  the  Seven  Devils  to  occupy 
my  swept  and  garnished  life. 

I  have  two  offers  to  write  on  Shakespeare  ;  an  inclina- 
tion to  write  a  few  essays  on  my  own  account,  and 


TO  PHILIP  HANSON  139 

a  determination  not  to  join  this  Government  whatever 
happens. 

I  trust  that  your  images  are  really  within  sight  of 
repaying  you.  But,  dear  Charles,  don't  work  yourself 
to  death  even  in  the  cause  of  gypsum. 

I  stayed  with  the  Dean  of  Christchurch  for  the  lecture 
and  met  interesting  people  :  Armstrong,  an  authority  on 
Italian  poetry,  and  many  more. 

Among  them  Canon  Henson,  a  pathetic  figure  ;  clever, 
and  overworked. 

I  do  hope  that  you  will  come  as  early  as  you  can  in 
September  and  stay  for  some  days. — Yours  affection- 
ately, GEORGE  W. 


542 

To  Philip  Hanson 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  25.viii.05. 

MY  DEAR  P.  H., — Your  letter  is  conclusive  on  the 
theory  of  telepathy.  I  thought  of  you  a  good  deal  yester- 
day ;  realised  that  I  had  not  heard  from  you  for  quite  a 
tune  ;  and  determined  to  write  myself  the  first  thing  to-day 
Then — pat ! — comes  just  the  letter  I  was  missing.  It  is 
very  welcome,  every  line  of  it.  When  do  you  take  your 
holiday  ?  and  can  you  look  in  here  on  the  way  ?  We 
shall  be  here  1st  to  4th  and  12th  to  18th  September,  and 
then  from  about  10th  October  onwards.  The  gaps  repre- 
sent a  visit,  or  so,  and  Dover. 

Sometimes  Politics  surge  up  from  the  back  caverns  of 
thought  and  memory.  But  I  put  them  aside.  I  read 
the  '  Seething  Pot '  in  Florence.  It  is  good.  The  other 
aspect  of  Ireland,  what  I  may  call  the  Polo-Ground 
aspect  is  more  insistent.  I  loved  the  Phoenix  Park,  and 
the  Lodge,  and  am  haunted  by  memories  of  people  who 
were  kind.  Yet  I  agree  it  is  '  all  nonsense  really,'  as  you 
say.  Nevertheless,  give  my  warm  remembrance  to  Lady 
Thomson  and  Sir  T.  Myles  and  others. 


140          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

The  '  erraticke  sterres  '  are  not  in  it  with  Percy.  He 
called  on  you  the  other  day,  being  at  Leopardstown,  etc., 
returned  to  have  a  tSte-a-tete  with  the  Dean  of  Christ- 
church,  and,  after  settling  to  read  hard  lor  another  '  shot ' 
in  December,  looked  in  here  yesterday,  and  was  off  again 
to  Dublin  !  It  is  jolly  to  be  as  young  as  all  that. 

Ronsard  was  good  fun.  I  lectured  in  crimson  glory  of 
D.C.L.  robes,  the  perspiration  dripping  from  my  brow, 
to  a  large  audience — about  1,200 — mostly  composed  of 
lean  and  earnest  ladies.  Need  I  tell  you  that  I  had  to 
throw  more  than  a  quarter  overboard,  although  speaking 
pretty  fast  for  one  hour  and  ten  minutes  ? 

Macmillan  wants  to  publish  and  make  '  something 
rather  nice  of  it.'  But  the  Devil  has  tempted  me  to 
'  finish  '  the  section  I  omitted, — influence  on  Elizabethans. 
You  ought  to  be  here  to  take  it  away  from  me.  I  will 
send  it  off  to-day  :  and  finish  on  the  *  proofs.' 

I  made  a  great  effort  after  austerity  and  only  break  out 
once  or  twice.  The  structure  is  of  Spartan  simplicity : 
(1)  The  Age  and  the  Man  ;  (2)  Sources  of  Inspiration  and 
Aim  of  Art ;  (3)  Achievement  and  Influence.  So  far,  so 
good.  But  when  I  said  to  Walter  Raleigh  as  I  left  the 
platform,  '  I  'm  afraid  it  was  three  lectures,'  he  answered 
'  No,  a  book.' 

Sidney  Lee  in  his  '  Elizabethan  Sonnets,'  published 
only  last  year,  forestalled  a  good  deal  that  I  had  worked 
out  10  years  ago.  But  no  matter  for  that. 

*  B-o-o-k,  Book,'  and  then  go  and  write  it — as  I  must 
now. 

Be  really  happy,  write  soon  ;   let  us  meet. — Yours  ever, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

543 

To  Wilfrid  Ward 

August  26th,  1905. 

MY  DEAR  WILFRID, — I  did  not  refer  to  your  proposed 
4  notes  on  Ireland,'  because — as  you  rightly  judged — I 
do  prefer  not  to  offer  any  opinion. 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  141 

Much  that  I  said  has  been  so  misconstrued  that,  for 
the  present,  I  maintain  silence. 

It  is  not  the  case  that  I  tried  to  construct  a  moderate 
party  i.e.  a  body  with  an  organisation,  leader,  programme, 
etc. 

What  I  preached  in  season  and  out  of  season  was  that 
all,  no  matter  to  what  parties  they  belonged,  or  what 
extreme  views  they  might  hold,  should  endeavour  to 
agree  on  practical  proposals  of  a  moderate  character. — 
Yours  ever,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 


544 

To  his  Mother 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  September  1st,  1905. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — The  Mallaranny  Picture  is 
quite  beautiful :  a  beautiful  picture  and  a  beautiful  poem, 
in  one.  It  is  a  work  of  genius.  You  must  paint  some 
more  sketches  from  recollection.  They  are  worth  many 
enamels.  The  mind  selects  what  the  imagination  has 
received.  Louis  Stevenson,  in  one  of  his  essays  on  travel 
says  that  he  can  only  describe  a  country  properly  after 
he  has  left  it  and  then,  only,  if  he  has  no  notes,  or  con- 
temporary letters  to  refer  to.  These,  he  argues,  inter- 
fere with  the  process  of  natural  selection  in  the  mind 
which,  if  unembarrassed  by  notes,  leads  up  to  a  '  survival 
of  the  fittest.'  Your  sketch  of  Mallaranny  proves  that 
this  is  true  of  painting  also.  It  gives  vision. 

Lavery,  the  painter,  told  me  that  he  painted  in  that 
way  sometimes  and  could  best  give  a  landscape  in  that 
way. 

I  am  very  well.  Macmillan  is  publishing  my  Ronsard 
lecture,  as  a  little  book,  or  pamphlet.  Courtney  asked 
me  to  send  it  to  the  '  Fortnightly  '  but  I  had  said  '  done  ' 
to  Macmillan  and  prefer  a  separate  publication  for  a 
thing  that  appeals  to  a  small  audience. 

I  cannot  quite  make  up  my  mind  whether  I  shall,  or 


142          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

shall  not,  add  an  Appendix  of  some  of  my  translations. 
Probably  I  shall. 

Hanson  is  staying  here    for    a    night    and  Gatty  till 
Tuesday,  also  darling  Cuckoo.     We  are  very  happy. 

We   go   to  Derwent  on  the  5th,  to  Wynward  on  the 
8th,  and  return  on  the  12th. 

Bless  you,  darling,   for  the  lovely  picture  and   '  alli- 
gator '  on  the  back  and  letter. — Your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 


545 

To  Wilfrid  Scawen  Blunt 


SAIGHTON, 
September  3,  '05. 


MY  DEAR  WILFRID, — I  have  been  thinking  of  you 
constantly,  during  long  stretches,  day  after  day.  Your 
presence  is  strangely  insistent.  The  last  two  nights  I 
have  spent  in  reading  your  poetry.  Your  poetry  touched 
me  first  when  I  was  very  young  and  turned  me  into  what 
I  am.  But,  reading  it  again,  I  receive  two  vivid  impres- 
sions ;  that  you  are  a  Poet,  without  any  shadow  of  doubt, 
destined  to  great  praise  in  years  still  long  distant ;  and, 
again,  that  the  stuff  of  your  poetry  is  linked  very  closely 
with  my  life.  I  feel  coerced  to  write  this  to-night.  I  have 
left  everybody  downstairs  to  do  it. 

September  4M. 

I  was  interrupted  by  Charles  Gatty,  who  is  here.  We 
often  talk  of  you.  Please  ask  Cockerell  to  write  and  tell 
me  how  you  are.  I  expect  to  go  south  at  the  end  of 
September,  in  order  to  visit  my  constituents,  and  I  shall 
come  to  see  you  early  in  October.  I  enjoyed  my  lecture 
on  Ronsard  at  Oxford.  I  delivered  it  in  my  crimson 
D.C.L.  robes.  Macmillan  is  publishing  it.  I  stayed 
with  the  Dean  at  Christchurch.  His  lawn  between 
Cardinal  Wolseley's  library  and  the  Cathedral  of  St. 
Frydeswytte  (I  am  not  sure  of  the  lady's  name)  is  a 
perfect  spot  for  meditation.  The  remains  of  St.  Frydes- 
wytte's  shrine  are  very  beautiful  and  were  much  admired 


TO  CHARLES  BO  YD  143 

by  Burne-Jones.  The  adventures  of  her  corpse  give  an 
epitome  of  the  English  Reformation.  When  Edward  vi. 
came  to  the  throne,  Somerset  disinterred  St.  Frydeswytte 
and  buried,  in  her  place,  the  wife  of  Peter  Martyr,  a  nun 
who  had  broken  her  vows.  When  Mary  Tudor  succeeded, 
Mrs.  Peter  Martyr  was  removed  and  St.  F.  replaced. 
When  Elizabeth  reigned  in  her  place  she  put  them  both 
in  together,  and  there  they  are — just  like  the  Communion 
Service  in  the  Prayer  Book. 

I  have  been  riding  with  Percy  and  long  for  the  day  when 
I  shall  ride  with  you  again. — Yours  affectionately, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

546 

To  Charles  Boyd 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
10.x.  05. 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — I  was  delighted  to  get  your  letter. 
What  a  ten  years  it  has  been  !  My  plan  of  campaign  is 
simple,  viz.  :  to  remain  young,  to  make  Dover  doubly 
secure,  to  entrench  myself  politically — for  some  months 
— in  Conservative  principles  as  a  base  from  which  to 
operate  towards  closer  Imperial  Unity.  Incidentally  I 
attend  at  Dover,  Chamber  of  Commerce  Banquet, 
Mayor's  Dinner,  Primrose  League  Dinner,  etc.,  etc. 

I  spoke  for  one  hour  and  twenty  minutes  at  Dover  on 
the  27th  to  a  large  audience.  But  just  now  no  one  must 
start  new  plans. 

The  Government  make  a  mistake  in  staying  in.  They 
are  boring  the  country  and  tiring  out  their  army.  All 
the  more  reason — say  I — that  those  who  mean  business 
should  keep  within  their  lines  of  Torres  Vedras.  After 
that  Imperial  Organisation  by  all  means.  But  don't 
touch  compulsory  service  for  the  Army.  The  proper 
plan — as  I  informed  the  House  of  Commons  4|  years 
ago — is  to  have  Militia  in  all  parts  of  the  Empire,  receiving 
a  small  Imperial  retainer  and  all  coming  on  to  a  uniform 
rate  of  Imperial  pay  in  the  hour  of  Imperial  Emergency. 


144          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

That  is  part  of  Imperial  Organisation.  Conscription 
at  home — by  whatever  name  you  like  to  call  it — is  Insular. 
Our  Empire  is  Oceanic.  That  fact  is  the  test  stone  of 
every  plan  for  Imperial  organisation. 

Meanwhile,  Percy  is  here  for  a  week's  holiday.  We 
went  cub-hunting  to-day  from  7.45  to  1.45,  and  jumped 
many  brooks  and  fences. 

I  have  to  deliver  a  '  Short  Address  '  in  Chester  to- 
morrow. Macmillan  is  publishing  my  lecture  on  Ronsard. 
I  go  to  London  on  Monday  next,  the  16th,  and  could  dine 
or  talk  after  dinner.  I  go  to  bed  early  now  and  take 
immense  care  of  my  health. — Yours  ever  in  the  bond, 

GEORGE  W. 

547 
To  Bertram  W  indie 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  November  1st,  1905. 

MY  DEAR  DOCTOR  WINDLE, — Your  letter  has  given  me 
something  more  than  pleasure.  It  makes  me  hope  that 
you  will  achieve  some  of  the  projects  for  which  I  worked. 
And,  being  human,  I  cannot  but  be  glad  to  hear  from  you 
that  some  remember  that  I  did  work  and  guess,  perhaps, 
how  deeply  I  cared. 

I  tried  very  hard  to  get  a  Central  Committee  for  enquiry 
and  advice  on  questions  of  commerce,  transit,  manufacture 
and  handicraft.  I  know  the  political  rocks  and  shoals, 
and  can  estimate  the  considerable  measure  of  success 
which  you  have  attained.  The  list  of  speakers  for 
November  21st  and  22nd  proves  to  me  that  much  has 
already  been  accomplished.  It  is  most  encouraging  to 
see  that,  in  addition  to  the  Chairman  of  the  Cork  and 
Dublin  Chambers  of  Commerce,  the  New  Department, 
and  the  Bishops  of  Cloyne  and  Waterford,  you  have  also 
secured  politicians  representing  so  many  divergent  sections 
of  political  opinion.  Messrs.  Boland,  T.  W.  Russell, 
William  Field,  Sloan  and  Captain  Donelan,  with  Lord 
Dunraven,  comprise  almost  every  shade.  I  regret  that, 


TO  BERTRAM  WINDLE  145 

excepting  Mr.  Russell  and  Mr.  Sloan — whose  usefulness 
I  would  by  no  means  minimise  —  Belfast  is  not  yet, 
apparently,  ready  to  throw  in  her  lot  with  the  general 
prosperity  of  Ireland.  Her  Captains  of  Industry  hold 
back.  It  is  slow  work,  demanding  infinite  patience. 
It  may  be  that  Belfast  will  always  stand  aside.  If  so, 
there  is  all  the  more  reason  for  closer  communion  through- 
out the  centre  and  south. 

I  also  read  with  pleasure  and  relief  that  you  '  find 
plenty  to  do  and  never  have  an  idle  moment.'  That 
reconciles  me  to  having  lured  you  into  such  troublous 
seas. 

I  shall  read  your  inaugilral  address  with  keen  interest. 
Some  day  I  shall  pay  you  a  visit.  But,  for  the  present, 
I  cannot  help  Ireland.  Any  action  or  words  of  mine 
would  be  misrepresented,  and  serve  only  to  em- 
barrass those  who  at — I  am  sure — considerable  risk  are 
willing  to  take  up  the  task  of  assisting  Ireland  *  to  find 
Herself.' 

In  the  long  run  it  may  prove  that  my  failure  to  secure 
support  in  Ireland  and  financial  assistance  from  Parlia- 
ment, is  not  to  be  regretted. 

If  Irishmen  come  to  understand  how  little  English 
politicians — Conservatives,  Liberals,  Free-Traders,  Pro- 
tectionists and  Labour  men — know  or  care  about  Irish 
interests,  they  will  discover  that  they  cannot  afford  to 
imitate  the  worst  features  in  our  Party  system. 

It  is  all  to  the  good  that  no  one  can  say  of  the  'First 
Irish  Industrial  Conference '  that  it  is  promoted  or 
engineered  by  a  Chief  Secretary.  That  makes  it  easier 
for  Irish  politicians  to  co-operate,  and  easier  for  them  to 
defend  their  co-operation  from  malicious  attacks. 

So,  as  a  private  individual  without  any  political  *  arriere 
pensee,'  who  merely  cares  for  the  well-being  of  Ireland, 
your  Conference  and  your  attempts  to  improve  the  oppor- 
tunities for  Higher  Education,  have  my  heartfelt  good 
wishes. — Yours  very  sincerely,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 


VOL.  n. 


146 


548 
To  his  Father 

RICHMOND,  ASKE, 
YORKSHIRE,  November  26th,  1905. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  owe  you  several  letters.  I 
have  been  interested  in  politics  and  deluged  with  corres- 
pondence, which  mounts  up  during  a  shooting  party. 

Last  week  I  spent  with  Sir  William  Eden  at  Windle- 
stone.  We  shot  three  days  and  hunted  Friday.  It  was 
a  mixed  party  and  amused  me  when  I  got  used  to  it. 
The  guns  were,  besides  host  and  self,  Lord  Villiers, '  Jack  ' 
Menzies,  Hunter,  Cazalet  and  George  Lambton. 

Hunter  is  husband  to  Mrs.  Hunter,  sister  to  Ethel 
Smythe.  She  has  been  painted  by  Sargent  and  *  sculp- 
tured '  by  Rodin  ;  Mrs.  Menzies  and  Muriel  Beckett  were 
younger  '  beauties.' 

I  raised  a  horse  in  the  neighbourhood  and  enjoyed 
hunting  with  Willy  Eden  and  George  Lambton,  though 
the  run  was  too  short.  It  reminded  me  of  old  days. 
My  horse  was  a  good  jumper. 

We  are  alone  here  with  the  Zetlands  and  he  mounts 
me  with  his  hounds  to-morrow. 

There  is  a  beautiful  Sir  Joshua  here  of  George  rv.  as 
a  young  man — the  companion  picture  to  Col.  St.  Leger. — 
Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

549 

To  Philip  Hanson 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
28.xi.05. 

MY  DEAR  P.  H., — Your  letter  only  reached  me  this 
morning  in  Yorkshire.  I  go  on  to  Dover  to-morrow  and 
cannot  be  sure  when  I  shall  get  back  to  Saighton.  Even 
if  I  am — as  I  expect — at  Saighton,  Sunday  I  shall  be  too 
busy  to  enjoy  Filgate's  company,  for  I  start  again  on 
Monday. 

I  should  like  to  see  you  immensely,  and  not  in  such  a 


TO  PHILIP  HANSON  147 

hurry.  Could  you  come  later  and  stay  longer  ?  Then, 
by  all  means,  let  Filgate  accompany  you  for  a  day. 
Next  Sunday  I  must  l  sport  my  oak.'  Now  I  come  to 
think  of  it,  I  get  back  Friday,  give  prizes  that  night  with 
speech  on  Education,  and  hunt  Saturday,  so  that  Sunday 
is  my  only  day  for  getting  things  ship-shape  again. 

I  want  a  talk  with  you  :  I  shall  be  at  Saighton,  I  think, 
13th-17th,  and  continuously  after,  say,  the  20th  or  21st. 
You  MUST  see  us  on  way  to  and  from  Christmas. 

I  have,  at  last,  begun  to  study  '  Fiscals  '  seriously.  A 
great  deal  has  happened  lately. 

PRIVATE.  I  took  a  decisive  step  about  a  month  ago, 
rather  less.  First  A.  C.  and  then  J.  C.  asked  me  to  join 
in  an  agitation  for  Tariff  Reform.  I  felt  the  time  had 
come  to  define  my  position.  I  wrote  to  J.  C.  definitely 
declining  an  all-round  Tariff  for  double  object  of  (i)  giving 
employment,  (ii)  raising  surplus  millions  to  relieve  rates 
and  promote  social  legislation.  That  being  so,  I  added  that 
an  '  agitation — at  least  in  my  hands  (!) — could  serve  only 
to  accentuate  Party  divisions  on  the  eve  of  an  Election.' 

I  have  corresponded  with  others,  including  the  P.  M. 

We  are  all  risking  much  ;  so  that  Politics  have  regained 
their  dignity. 

In  view  of  the  general  ruction  I  have  agreed  to  address 
4000  people  at  Huddersfield  on  January  23rd. 

I  have  never  been  daunted  by  Colonial  Preference. 
For  a  laudable  object  and  adequate  return  I  will  tax, 
with  preference  to  Colonies,  (a)  luxuries,  (b)  corn  up  to 
2/-  if  necessary. 

Or  take  Retaliation :  let  us  try  negotiating,  and,  if 
need  be,  fighting  to  get  our  goods  into  markets  from  which 
they  are  shut  out.  If  we  do,  with  any  regard  to  facts 
and  common  sense,  again  the  counter-blow  would  fall 
on  (a)  luxuries,  (b)  food,  rather  than  on  manufactures. 

When  a  manufacturer — and  this  is  a  favourite  Pro- 
tectionist argument — transfers  his  mill  to  Germany,  it 
is  because  he  sold  his  goods  to  Germany  and  can  do  so 
no  longer.  To  '  protect '  his  manufactures  here  effects 
nothing  ;  it  irritates  without  hurting. 


148          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

Both  these  projects  make  against,  rather  than  for, 
protection. 

My  difficulty  begins  with  '  broadening  the  basis  of 
taxation.' 

I  do  not  believe  that  either  of  the  two  projects  named 
would  protect ;  but  neither  do  I  believe  that  they  would 
bring  in  Revenue  to  any  appreciable  extent.  In  so  far 
as  they  fulfil  their  ostensible — and  to  me  real — objects, 
they  will  do  neither.  Indeed,  a  tax  on  wine  might 
decrease  Revenue.  For  our  existing  taxes  have  reached 
the  limit  of  productivity  qua  indirect,  and  the  limit  of 
prudence  qua  direct  taxation. 

There  's  the  rub  !  I  preach  economy,  honestly.  But 
in  my  heart  of  hearts  I  know  that  Imperial  Defence — 
developing  the  Unity  of  Empire — bettering  the  conditions 
of  life  at  home — must  mean  greater  expenditure.  Whether 
at  the  W.  O.  or  the  I.  O.,  I  found  many  things  that  ought 
to  be  done  and  could  not  be  done  for  lack  of  funds. 

I  cannot,  therefore,  say  that  I  will  never  put  on  new 
taxes.  Indeed,  if  I  were  Chancellor  of  Exchequer  in 
ten  years'  tune,  I  should  be  driven  to  it. 

Taxes  on  manufactured  articles  will  not,  I  believe, 
produce  much  revenue.  They  will,  probably,  merely 
shift  employment  from  one  trade  into  another,  or  from 
one  grade  into  another  grade  of  the  same  trade.  They 
would  protect  certain  trades,  or  processes,  i.e.  the  agri- 
culturist would  pay  more  tor  his  machine,  and  the  opera- 
tive would  make  more  pig-iron  and  iewer  tin-plates. 

If,  therefore,  I  found  it  necessary  to  discover  new  taxes 
for  Revenue,  the  most  effective  and  fairest  course  would 
be  to  have  a  revenue  tariff,  really  general  and  really  non- 
protective,  except  accidentally  to  an  insignificant  degree. 

To  be  brief :  the  ideal  is,  that  such  taxes  should  be 
universal  and  very  low. 

I  have  two  objects  :   (i)  Imperial,  (ii)  domestic. 

(i)  Imperial.  I  go  to  my  conference  hoping  for  closer 
Union,  less  taxation  on  my  manufactures,  trade  routes 
within  the  Empire,  and  last,  but  not  least,  some  appreci- 
able contribution  from  the  Colonies  towards  Imperial 


TO  PHILIP  HANSON  149 

Defence,  say,  the  Navy,  and  imperial  retainer  for  Militia 
throughout  the  Empire. 

Now,  most  of  our  Colonies  have  a  protective  tariff  for 
manufactures,  but  also  a  genuine  revenue  tariff.  It 
used  to  be  7%  ad  valorem  at  the  Cape  when  I  was  there. 

If  I  am  to  devise  a  plan  for  the  Empire,  I  must  take 
into  account  the  custom  of  all  the  parts. 

I  may  say  that  taxes  which  go  exclusively  into  the 
Exchequer  and  give  no  indirect  protection,  are  best  for 
me.  But  I  cannot  say  they  are  best  for  South  Africa 
or  India.  So  without  violating  the  Free  Trader's  theory 
qua  this  Island,  I  can  advocate  an  all-round  2%  ad 
valorem,  the  proceeds  of  which  are  to  be  ear-marked  for 
Imperial  defence.  In  the  Cape  or  India  it  would  be  a 
slight  addition  to  their  customary  system.  Here  it  would 
be  an  insignificant  exception  from  our  system. 

Having  dealt  thus  with  (i)  Imperial,  I  turn  to  (ii) 
Domestic,  and  put  on  another  l%-3%  in  all — to  make 
a  k  pool '  for  carrying  out  Balfour  of  Burleigh's  Report. 
I  should  come  out  with  an  Imperial  and  Domestic  policy 
based  on  all  round  3%  taxes  for  Revenue. 

Protection  disappears.  Retaliation  is  left  rather  high 
and  dry.  If  needed,  the  4  blows  '  ought  to  be  devised 
to  act  as  threats.  They  ought  to  hit  where  it  hurts  and 
not  to  be  of  a  protective  character. 

I  did  not  mean  to  write  all  this.     It  is  purely  speculative. 

For  the  moment  we  must  keep  clear  of  J.  C.'s  10%  on 
manufacture. — Yours  ever,  G.  W. 

550 

To  Philip  Hanson 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  l.xii.05. 

MY  DEAR  P.  H., — Many  thanks  for  your  letter.  You 
must  come  on  the  21st.  Percy  will  be  here  and  we  shall 
have  a  royal  time.  Bring  Charles  with  you. 

I  wrote  to  the  Orange  Colonel,  Wednesday,  on  the 
'  Times '  Report.  So  far  I  have  received  no  reply,  explana- 
tion, or  even  acknowledgment. 


150          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

It  is  curious  that  all  the  people  who  go  for  Joe  have 
begun  to  knife  the  people  who  don't. 

The  Irish  are  getting  excited.  The  only  thing  that 
angers  me  is  when  they  attack  A.  J.  B. 

I  am  just  in  from  a  short  address  on  Education  at 
Chester,  after  Prizes  by  my  Lady.  I  said  one  thing  that 
still  pleases  me.  I  led  up  to  it  with  *  danger  of  gospel  of 
Efficiency  pushed  to  excess  ' ;  why  should  we  '  beat  the 
Foreigner  '  unless  our  descendants  are  to  be  '  Heirs  of  all 
the  ages '  ?  And  then  my  epigram  '  Do  not  make  a 
scrap-heap  of  the  Past  and  a  treadmill  of  the  Future.' 

You  must  allow  that  this  was  good  for  the  students. 

I  begged  them  to  preserve  the  qualities  which  used  to 
distinguish  man  from  the  brutes  in  the  past,  and  ought 
to  distinguish  him  from  machines  in  the  future.  What 
are  these  inherent  qualities  ?  To  find  them  we  must,  in 
accordance  with  Modern  Science,  go  to  the  nursery  and 
study  children,  or  to  uncivilised  countries  and  study 
savages.  What  do  we  find  ?  (1)  Pommeling,  (2)  Riddles, 
(3)  Mud-pies.  To  fight,  to  understand,  to  make. 

Fighting — men  or  nature — is  sufficiently  preserved  in 
games  and  sport.  In  earliest  periods  Fighting  and  Hunt- 
ing pursued  to  exclusion  of  all  else.  Danger  now  is  that 
so-called  '  Battle  of  Life  ' — with  nothing  of  primitive 
daring  and  loyalty,  shall  be  pursued  also  to  exclusion  of 
all  else.  Danger  is  that  we  shall  become  machines.  So 
hark  back  to  the  Understanding  and  Making.  (Aside — 
Here  Charles  will  interrupt  with  gypsum.) 

We  must  know  truth  and  model  beauty,  etc.,  etc. 

They  all  liked  it ! — Yours  ever,  GEORGE  W. 


551 

To  Charles  T.  Gatty 


35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
4.xii.05. 


MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — Many  thanks  for  your  letter.     I 
hope  to  be  back  at  Saighton  on  Wednesday  7th,  unless 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  MADELINE  151 

detained.  Her  ladyship  will  be  there  till  Friday,  and  both 
of  us  back  Wednesday  13th. 

I  should  like  to  see  you. 

Saunderson  accepts  my  contradiction  unreservedly. 
What  an  extraordinary  people  they  are. 

Bendor,  you  may  have  noticed,  is  Lord  Lieutenant  of 
Cheshire. 

In  answer  to  your  question,  I  do  not  believe  that  the 
Irish  Vote  turns  142  seats,  or,  indeed,  any  considerable 
number. 

C.  B.  will  form  a  Government,  I  feel  pretty  sure. 

The  situation  is  curiously  analogous  to  that  of  1845. 
Lord  John  Russell  then  failed  to  do  so  because  one  man, 
Howick  (afterwards  Grey),  refused  to  join.  Peel  then 
resumed  and  carried  on,  execrated  by  the  Protectionists 
and  just  supported  by  the  Liberals  till  Repeal  was  passed. 
Then  the  Protectionists  and  Irish  joined  forces  and 
smashed  him. — Yours  ever,  G.  W. 


552 

To  his  Sister,  Madeline 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
13.xii.05. 

MOST  DARLING  MANENAi, — I  am  coming  without  fail 
and  will  let  you  know  train.1  I  may  have  to  cut  the  visit 
very  short  as,  besides  Dover,  the  smash  at  Charing  Cross 
is  taxing  my  time.  You  spell  the  second  name  Philfip — 
with  II — I  shall  spell  it  Phi/ip — with  one  I — merely  as  a 
supporter  of  compulsory  Greek.  It  ought  to  be  PhilMpjp. 
But  nobody  spells  it  that  way,  and,  out  of  deference  to 
convention,  even  I  refrain.  I  hope  he  will  love  the 
Horse. — Your  devoted  brother,  GEORGE  W. 

Off  to  Dover ! 

1  For  the  christening  of  her  son. 


152          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

553 
To  Mrs.  Drew 

SAIGHTON, 
December  20th,  1905.     Midnight. 

MY  DEAR  MARY, — I  forgive  you  because  you  ask  me  to 
do  so,  and  am  very,  very  sorry  to  have  missed  you. 

I  am  too  tired  to  argue  to-night. 

I  stated  my  position  in  advance,  on  the  Address  of 
1901.  It  was  a  difficult  position  to  assume,  and  defend. 
It  has  not  been  made  easier  for  me  by  '  the  other  party.' 
On  the  contrary,  it  was  made  untenable. 

I  asked  then  (1901),  and  again  and  again,  during  more 
than  four  years,  that  the  questions  of  Land,  Education, 
etc.,  should  be  discussed  on  their  merits,  with  a  desire 
to  make  progress  and  without  reference  to  Home  Rule  : 
as  I  put  it,  '  without  making  them  stalking  horses  for 
Home  Rule.' 

Yet  most  Liberal  speakers,  and  all  Liberal  papers,  have 
insisted  that  I  did  not  mean  what  I  said. 

Finally,  at  a  moment  when  nobody  believes  that  the 
Liberals  can  pass,  or  even  introduce  a  Home  Rule  Bill, 
the  Leader  of  the  Liberal  Party  quite  gratuitously  asserts 
that  everything  done  for  the  benefit  of  Ireland  is  to  be 
considered,  not  on  its  merits,  but  as  a  step  to  Home 
Rule. 

Let  me  put  it  in  this  way  :  if,  for  what  seems  the  Party 
object  of  proving  that  I  and  the  Unionist  Government 
were  ready  to  work  towards  Home  Rule,  Liberal  speakers 
persistently  ignore  the  distinction  I  drew,  then  no  course 
is  open  to  me  but  to  draw  that  distinction  more  sharply. 

And,  believe  me,  there  is  nothing  but  disappointment 
and  bitterness  and  delay  to  all  progress  in  confusing — 
as  I  would  put  it — such  practical  questions,  on  which 
agreement  is  possible,  with  the  creation  of  a  legislative 
Assembly  upon  which  agreement  is  not  possible. 

I  deplore  C.  B.'s  speech,  because  I  believe  that  it  adjourns 
evert/thing  for  5  or  10  years. 


TO  HIS  FATHER  153 

I  did  not  mean  to  argue.  But  I  care  intensely  for  these 
things. 

It  was  bad  enough  to  be  murdered  '  politically  '  as  a 
reformer  in  Ireland.  It  is  almost  worse  to  see  your  Party 
committing  suicide  in  a  like  capacity. 

Fortunately  I  am  young.  And  when  your  Party  has 
reaped,  in  turn,  its  crop  of  savage  ingratitude,  I  may 
still  hope  to  see  the  parties  working  together  for  what  is 
possible  in  Ireland  as  they  are  now  working  together  for 
what  is  possible  in  Foreign  Affairs. 

I  need  hardly  add  that  the  report  which  you  have  seen 
of  my  speech  is  a  scanty  presentment  of  45  minutes. 
My  constituents  know,  and  approve,  my  desire  to  see 
practical  work  done  for  Ireland.  They  are  entitled  to 
know  that  I  object  to  handing  over  legislation,  except 
for  private  Bills,  to  a  subordinate  Parliament.  As  I 
have  stated  that  objection  repeatedly  for  18  years,  I 
am  entitled  to  re-state  it  when  it  is  persistently  discredited 
by  a  combination  of  English  Liberals  and  Ulster  Fanatics. 

Now  I  must  ask  you  to  forgive  me.  We  are  close  on 
Christmas,  and,  apart  from  charity,  I  am,  yours 
affectionately,  G.  W. 

554 

To  his  Father 

SAIGHTON, 
December  22nd,  1905. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — Your  letter  of  16th  was  interesting. 
But  much  has  happened  since  then.  I  was  '  slated.' 
But,  politically,  my  position  is  beginning  to  emerge  from 
the  morass  of  hard  lying.  I  wrote  Saunderson  a  quiet, 
but  firm,  letter  contradicting  him  flatly  for  the  second 
time.  He  has  not  replied.  If  he  ever  raises  the  matter 
in  the  House  I  have  but  to  read  the  correspondence  in 
order  to  blow  him  out  of  the  water. 

After  that  '  private  scrimmage '  I  went  to  Bowood, 
Friday  to  Tuesday,  and  had  interesting  talks  with 
Metternich  and  Lansdowne.  Then,  on  Wednesday  week, 


154          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

13th,  I  took  on  Dover.  I  spoke  nine  times  in  four  nights 
and  was  in  very  good  form.  I  went  over  Harbour  Works 
and  Iron  Works  all  the  mornings,  had  political  or  social 
lunches,  slept  the  whole  afternoon,  had  tea  and  eggs 
and  spoke  freely,  without  preparation,  in  the  evenings 
from  7.30  to  12  o'clock.  I  did  three  meetings  first  night, 
one  the  second,  four  the  third  and  one  the  fourth — reported 
more  or  less. 

On  Sunday  I  needed  a  rest  so  I  went  with  George  Peel 
— who  with  his  father,  Lord  Peel,  happened  to  be  at  my 
hotel — to  Canterbury  by  the  9  a.m.  train  and  mooned 
about  the  cathedral  till  3  o'clock.  It  is  unparalleled.  In 
the  afternoon  I  returned  to  Dover  and  called  on  retired 
officers — the  '  upper-crust '  who  would  be  '  huffy  '  if  I 
only  attended  to  capital  and  labour  and  shop-keepers. 

Monday  I  went  to  Babraham  for  the  christening  of 
Manenai's  heir,  on  Tuesday.  It  was  perfect.  Our  pro- 
cession of  '  Lady  Libbet '  with  a  crutch-handled  stick — 
darling  Chang  and  self  as  God-parents,  dowager  baby  and 
four  sisters  was  inimitable.  Beyond  the  little  stream 
there  was  another  procession  of  all  the  babies  in  the  parish 
hi  perambulators,  silhouetted,  beyond  the  cut-limes, 
against  the  green  meadows.  The  church  was  full.  I 
put  in  a  morning  at  Cambridge,  by  motor,  with  Charlie ; 
looked  up  Walter  Durnford — Master  of  King's  and  Mayor 
of  Cambridge,  saw  King's  and  John's  library  and  the 
Templar's  church. 

I  ran  down  here  Wednesday  night  with  Perf  who  had 
'  flitted  '  to  London,  for  the  day,  to  try  on  clothes. 

All  this  is  introduction.  For  the  moment — though 
enchanted  with  C.  B.'s  folly  at  the  Albert  Hall,  I  am 
absorbed  in  hunting. 

S.  S.  and  I  open  our  campaign  at  Dover  at  7  p.m.  on 
28th  with  torchlight  procession  and  speech  from  windows 
of  the  Carlton  Club,  Dover.  But,  till  then,  I  merely 
hunt,  every  day.  I  suppose  I  ought  to  write  my  address 
on  Sunday.  All  my  '  followers  '  are  clamouring  for  it 
and  Colonel  Haigh — the  new  man  in  Middleton's  place 
— is  besieging  me  to  speak  all  over  the  country.  But 


TO  HIS  FATHER  155 

— as  I  said — this  is  beer  and  skittles  by  comparison  with 
hunting.     So,  let  me  write  about  that. 

Perf,  besides  riding  far,  far  better  than  I  did  at  his  age 
has  developed  a  faculty  for  successful  horse-coping. 
Besides  the  capital  mare  which  he  bought  for  £21  at 
Wrexham  in  September  he  has  bought — with  my  money 
—a  black  thoroughbred  near  Aston  for  £70.  He  rode 
the  black  blood-horse  with  great  distinction  on  Tuesday. 
They  hunted  fast  all  over  the  cream  of  south  Cheshire  and 
the  first  flight  tell  me  that  Perf  went  in  front  all  the  time. 

To-day,  we  met  at  Holt,  five  miles  from  here.  We 
had  one  of  those  days  that  make  hunting  a  romance, 
comparable  only  to  fighting.  It  was  perfect.  Shelagh 
Westminster  and  her  uncle,  Heremon  FitzPatrick  were 
out  from  Eaton  ;  Perf  and  I,  from  Saighton  :  and  I  may 
say  that  we  four  will  concede  equality  only  to  Cholmon- 
deley  and  W.  Jones,  and  Weaver — the  horse-dealer — 
and  superiority,  only  to  Goswell,  the  Steeple-chase  jockey 
and  trainer.  I  admit  that  he  beat  us.  Nobody  else  did. 
*  A  southerly  wind  and  a  cloudy  sky '  with  a  rising  glass 
— '  proclaimed  a  hunting  morning.' 

We  found  at  *  Royalty '  the  best  of  Watkin  Wynn's 
coverts,  in  the  pick  of  the  vale,  two  and  a  half  miles  from 
Saighton.  There  was  the  scent  which  only  comes  once 
or  twice  in  the  few  seasons  which  men  remember.  We 
ran  our  fox  to  ground — an  eight  and  a  quarter  mile  point 
— fourteen  to  fifteen  miles,  as  we  ran,  over  all  the  best 
country,  in  one  hour  and  fifteen  minutes.  Royalty, 
Garden,  Edge  Park,  Overton  Scar,  Broughton.  Perf 
was  the  first  man  at  the  Garden  River,  and  the  only  one 
who  got  over  it.  Wengy  Jones  nearly  drowned  himself 
and  his  horse.  I  had  the  best  of  the  start.  But,  to  my 
huge  delight,  Perf  pounded  me  and  the  whole  field  at  a 
'  supposed  '  unjumpable  place.  Excepting  Goswell ;  Perf, 
Fitzpatrick,  Shelagh  and  self,  saw  the  whole  run  as  well 
as  anybody.  And  '  anybody  '  only  means  Wengy  Jones, 
Maiden  (the  huntsman),  Cholmondeley  and  Weaver. 
Indeed,  the  hounds  beat  us  altogether  the  last  twenty 
minutes  of  this  sublime  one  hour  and  fifteen  minutes. 


156          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

I  am  glad  to  say  that  Weaver,  Wengy,  Jones  and  self 
jumped  the  paddock  rails  into  Broughton  Park  after  we 
had  been  running  over  the  hour.  In  short,  the  hounds 
carried  such  a  head  that  a  horse  could  jump  anything 
and  putt  after  he  ought  to  have  been  tired  out. 

But  this  was  not  nearly  all.  We  changed  horses  and 
drew  Garden  Cliff.  I  viewed  the  fox  away  and,  with 
'  Rock '  (Cholmondeley)  and  Goswell,  had  the  best  of 
the  first  rush  to  the  check  (fifteen  minutes).  Then  we 
hunted  again,  for  about  thirteen  to  fourteen  miles — after 
a  loop — right  across  the  vale  into  the  Cheshire  country, 
and  *  whipped  off '  in  the  dark  at  Tattenhall,  ibur  miles 
from  home.  There  were  divine  bits  of  racing  pace, 
three  or  four  times,  over  the  best  of  the  Cheshire  Vale. 

It  is  not  possible  to  describe  this  kind  of  thing.  Putting 
the  two  hunts  together  we  must  have  galloped  and  jumped 
for  at  least  twenty-six  miles — probably  thirty.  The 
hounds  were  never  cast  in  either  of  the  two  runs.  We 
hunt  again  to-morrow. 

Perf,  with  his  hat  on  the  back  of  his  head,  sailing  away, 
gives  me  undiluted  joy.  He  has  taken  his  place,  straight 
away,  in  the  very  first  flight  of  the  seven  or  ten  people 
who  ride  hard  and  see  runs.  The  *  professionals  ' — like 
Weaver  and  Goswell — all  mention  him  to  me ;  and  it  is 
notable  to  c  pound '  such  a  field  over  an  unjumpable 
brook  and  to  see  two  such  hunts  to  their  conclusion. 

We  rode  back  together  in  the  dark,  absolutely  happy, 
and  played  a  game  of  picquet  together  after  dinner. 

And  so  I  wish  you,  and  darling  Mamma,  and  Ditch- 
mouse,  and  Guy  and  Minnie,  and  all  at  Clouds  a  Merry 
Christmas  and  most  Happy  New  Year. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

P.S. — You  like  accuracy.  Perf,  alone,  jumped  the 
Garden  river  and  cleared  it.  But  his  horse  would  have 
slipped  back  with  him.  So  he  threw  himself  off,  pulled  the 
horse  up  the  opposite  bank,  remounted,  and  sailed  away. 

P.S.  2. — When  Wengy  Jones  got  into  the  Garden  River 
I  saw  that  I  could  not  get  over  it.  So  I  shouted  to  Perf, 
as  he  remounted,  '  You  Ve  got  'em  to  yourself,  Go  on  ! ' 


TO  MRS.  HINKSON  157 

555 

To  his  Mother 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  Christmas  Eve,  1905. 

MOST  DARLING, — This  is  to  wish  you  a  most  Merry 
Christmas  and  Happy  New  Year,  and  to  send  you  all  my 
love. 

Bendor  is  just  back,  very  well  and  dear  to  everybody. 

Cuckoo's  children  are  staying  with  us.  Perf  and  I  are 
very  happy.  Give  my  love  to  Papa,  and  dear  old  Guy 
and  Minnie,  and  Ditchmouse  and  all. 

I  am  not  writing  other  letters  this  year  as  I  am  hard 
at  it  to  hunt  and  get  plenty  of  oxygen  into  my  blood  and 
to  put  together  papers,  etc.,  for  the  election  campaign. — 
Your  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

556 
To  Mrs.  Hinkson 

SAIGHTON, 
CHESTER,  Christmas  Eve,  1905. 

MY  DEAR  MRS.  KATHARINE  TYNAN, — I  thank  you  for 
*  Innocencies.'  Children  explain  the  riddle  of  life.  They 
are  the  only  rest  we  know.  And  I  thank  you,  too,  for 
the  '  Dedication.'  For  the  sake  of  the  children  of  the 
future  a  '  grown-up  ' — like  myself — must  follow  the  gleam ; 
and,  sometimes,  through  murky  defiles  in  cumbrous 
armour. 

But  that  is  just  when  your  song  leads  my  own  self  out 
of  its  case  and  grime,  beyond  the  sunless  gorges,  over  the 
hills  and  far  away  '  Adown  the  pale  green  avenues  '  to 
where  '  the  wind  ruffles  the  windflower.'  I — and  many, 
many  more  than  you  suppose — thank  you  for  that 
deliverance. 

As  you  have  sent  me  so  many  songs,  I  will  send  you  one 
which  I  wrote  years  ago — in  1891 — because  your  poetry 
is  to  me  what  I  felt  then. 


158          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 


AFTER  SICKNESS  IN  SPRINGTIME 

Out  in  the  air  again, 
Over  the  downs  ; 
How  the  wind  drowns 
Body  and  brain  ! — 
Hums  in  my  ears, 
Blinds  me  with  tears, 
Washing  the  world  of  the  dead  winter's  stain 

Spring  winds  are  here  again, 
Scouring  the  world ; 
See  the  dust  whirled 
Over  the  plain ! — 
Cleansing  the  mind 
Foully  confined. 
Day  after  day  in  the  prison  of  pain. 

Listen  !     The  lark  again 
Sings  where  the  skies 
Dazzle  our  eyes. 
Oh  !     How  his  strain, 
Sharper  than  sight, 
Pierces  the  height, 
Tingles  from  Heaven  like  glittering  rain. 

When  I  read  '  Innocencies '  I  cry,  '  Listen,  the  lark 
again  ! ' 

Was  it  your  husband  who  wrote  to  the  P.  M.  G.  a  letter 
about  the  *  Catholic  Association  '  ?     I  hope  so. 

Late,  on  this  Xmas  eve,  all  my  thanks  and  good  wishes, 
go  out  to  you. — Yours  very  sincerely, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

557 

To  Bertram  W indie 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  Christmas  Eve,  1905. 

MY  DEAR  DR.   WINDLE, — I  cannot  resist  writing  to 
thank  you  for  your  good  wishes,  and  to  reciprocate  them 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  159 

most  warmly.  Lady  Grosvenor,  who  joins  me  in  wishing 
you  a  happy  Christmas  and  successful  New  Year,  is 
delighted  with  '  Ad  Matrem.' 

I  am  much  struck  by  the  passage  in  Dr.  O'Dwyer's 
address,  and,  even  more,  by  your  Bishop's  action  in 
respect  of  the  Students'  sodality. 

We  are  getting  to  work  here  to  battle  over  a  Home 
Rule  proposal  which  may  never  be  made. 

These  fights  of  '  Bates  and  Crows  '  would  be  grotesque 
if  they  did  not  mean  the  distraction  of  attention  from 
practical  work  on  which  men  of  all  political  views  can 
agree.  As  it  is,  they  are  tragic  and  to  no  one  more  so 
than  to  yours  very  sincerely, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

558 

To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  Xmastide,  1905. 

MOST  DARLING  PAMELO, — I  have  been  thinking  of  you 
these  days  and  send  all  love  to  you  and  real  dynamic 
wishes  that  you  shall  be  happy  and  blessed  in  the  New 
Year.  Give  love  to  Eddy  and  much  to  the  children. 

You  must  tell  me  what  good  set  of  books  Clare  would 
really  like  from  me.  Bowdler's  Shakespeare  in  6  vols. ; 
or  all  Walter  Scott,  or  all  Dickens.  Or  would  she  like 
a  desk. 

As  for  Bim,  I  think  a  desk  ?  if  he  has  not  got  one.  Let 
me  know  at  your  leisure. 

To-day  28th  I  start — now — for  the  Election ;  and  shall 
scarcely  be  human  for  three  weeks.  It  seems  a  silly  way 
to  govern  a  country  for  everybody  to  talk  loud,  and  boast 
and  bicker  and  malign  during  three  weeks.  The  only 
thing  that  redeems  it  to  my  mind  is  that  it  resembles  the 
conduct  of  dogs  when  suddenly  surprised  by  a  normal 
incident,  such  as  the  moon  rising,  or  the  dinner  bell 
ringing. — Your  devoted  brother,  GEORGE. 


160          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 


559 

To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

HOTEL  BURLINGTON, 
DOVER,  31st  December  1905. 

MOST  DARLING  PAM, — I  love  the  Book  of  Peace  and 
the  quotation.  I  like  one  from  Troilus  (Chaucer) : — 

'  Let  not  this  wretched  woe  thine  herte  grieve. 
But  manly  set  the  world  on  six  and  seven 
And  if  thou  die  a  martyr,  go  to  Heaven.' 

(Half  the  fun  is  to  write  on  this  outrageous  paper.     It 
gives  the  local  colour  of  an  Election.) 

I  am  immensely  amused  by  the  numbers,  enthusiasm 
and  complete  ignorance  of  Dover  ladies,  dying  to  help. 
I  have  armies  of  lady  canvassers.  But  they  are  bowled 
out  by  the  first  question  of  the  canvassee.  Like  irregular 
horse,  they  come  back  plunging  through  the  ranks  for 
support  from  Head  Quarters.  It  is  now  decided  that  I 
am  to  give  them  a  lecture.  A  ladies'  class  will  gather, 
and  I  shall  explain  Fiscals,  Education  and  Licensing  to 
them.  They  hope — after  I  have  served  out  the  ammuni- 
tion— to  do  great  execution.  But  I  have  my  doubts. — 
Your  devoted  brother,  GEORGE. 


560 

To  his  Father 

HOTEL  BURLINGTON, 
DOVER,  January  9th,  1906. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA,— Sibell  and  self  are  both  keeping 
very  well.  To-day  I  feel  a  little  limp,  partly  owing  to 
the  weather,  partly  because  last  night  one  of  those  occa- 
sions came  to  me  which  make  me  speak  far  better  than 
my  form.  I  gave  so  much  of  my  vitality  to  the  audience 
that  I  feel  the  reaction ;  all  the  more  as  I  spoke  at  a 
second  meeting  when  I  was  very  tired.  But  it  was  worth 


TO  HIS  FATHER  161 

it.  My  Chairman  had  tears  in  his  eyes  and  I  worked 
up  the  meeting  to  a  frenzy  of  anger  and  enthusiasm. 

So  far  I  have  always  held,  and  sometimes  '  swept '  my 
audiences.  But  as  they  vote  for  me  unanimously,  or 
with  only  three  to  five  dissentients,  it  is  clear  that  they 
agree  in  the  main. 

You  must  not  be  disappointed  even  if  I  were  beaten. 

I  have  three  difficulties.  My  friends  are  the  supporters 
of  the  Conservative  Corporation.  They  have  burdened 
the  rates,  and  are  hated  by  many.  So  that  my  Army, 
though  loyal,  is  a  stage  army,  turning  up  every  night  and 
numbering  ?  That  is  the  rub  !  Is  it  2000  or  2500  ? 

My  second  difficulty  is  that  all  the  Nonconformists 
have  been,  and  are  working  against  me  with  silent,  but 
relentless,  animosity. 

My  third  difficulty  is  the  one  you  note  in  your  letter 
to  S.  S.  The  Trades  Union  leaders  and  socialists  have 
issued  orders  to  all  the  working-men. 

The  Railway  Vote  is  shaky :  Weetman  Pearson,  a 
Liberal,  is  employing  1500  on  the  Harbour  works ;  the 
Flour  mills ;  Paper  mills  and  Gas  works  are  all,  I  fear, 
doubtful.  There  are  2000  new  Electors,  who,  like  Brer 
Rabbit,  *  lay  low,  and  say  nothink ! '  So  we  mustn't 
mind  a  beating  if  it  comes. 

I  expected  to  win  by  500.  I  now  put  it  at  300,  a  slender 
margin  on  6300  electors  of  whom  2000  are  an  unknown 
quantity. 

But  we  have  *  put  up  '  a  grand  fight  and,  as  I  could 
not  have  done  more,  my  mind  is  quite  peaceful. 

S.  S.  is  a  constant  source  of  amusement  to  me.  I  wish 
I  could  remember  all  her  sayings. 

I  want  to  win  and  figure  in  the  '  little  band  '  of  Con- 
servatives who  will  emerge  from  this  tempest. 

I  have  made  seventeen  speeches  and  have  only  four 
more.  The  '  Telegraph  '  reports  a  bit  from  Dover  most 
days. 

All  love  to  darling  Mamma  and  all  at  Clouds. — Your 
loving  son,  GEORGE. 

VOL.  ii.  r. 


162         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

561 

To  his  Mother 

HOTEL  BURLINGTON, 
DOVER,  January  10th,  1906. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — We  loved  your  letter.  If  I 
did  not  feel  that  you  had  all  been  very  busy  over  '  Red 
Riding  Hood  ' 1  I  should  feel  rather  selfish  for  not  having 
told  you  more  of  our  contest.  But  I  have  been  going 
4  top  pace '  every  day,  without  a  moment  to  spare.  I 
have  made  21  speeches.  We  have  got  the  mob  and  the 
aristocracy  with  us.  So  I  suppose  we  are  Tories. 

My  chief  amusement  consists  in  S.  S.'  gradual,  but 
rapid,  conversion  into  an  out-and-out  Electioneer-er.  She 
now  comes  to  all  my  meetings.  A  certain  number  of 
working-men — one  a  pale-faced  enthusiast  with  blue  eyes, 
another,  a  sort  of  Goblin  who  dances  after  every  meeting 
— follow  me  wherever  I  go  and  take  front  places  and  watch 
me  with  gleaming,  strained,  attention.  Well,  S.  S.  and 
these  demoniacs  are  now  hand-in-glove,  on  the  '  Here  we 
are  again  '  principle.  As  far  as  enthusiasm  goes  we  are 
all  demented.  The  climax  of  each  night  beats  the  night 
before.  Any  man  who  interrupted  would  have  his  neck 
broke.  But  last  night  in  respect  of  S.  S.,  beat  all.  I 
4  swept '  the  Harbour  men  at  4  p.m.  Had  a  unanimous 
meeting  (with  the  pale  enthusiast  and  goblin  at  7.30) — 
another  mad  meeting  of  enthusiasm  at  8.45  to  1O 
o'clock.  Then  we  went  at  my  Chairman's  suggestion  to 
the  Town  Hall.  Our  Ward  Committees — three  of  them 
— were  meeting  in  the  Council  Chamber,  Mayor's  Parlour 
and  another  room,  at  the  back.  Bryce,  my  opponent, 
had  a  mass  meeting  in  front,  i.e.  in  the  Town  Hall  itself. 
So  we  entered  by  the  police  door,  crept  like  Guy  Faux 
past  the  cells,  and  up  a  ladder  into  the  dock  in  the  court, 
and  so  got  to  our  Ward  meetings.  We  could  hear  the 
cheers  and  applause  in  the  big  hall — like  sounds  in  a 

1  Children's  theatricals  at  Clouds. 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  163 

phonograph.  And  suddenly,  in  went  S.  S.  and  self  into 
the  Council  Chamber.  There  were  300  and  more  stalwarts 
working  at  the  organization.  It  was  a  miracle  to  her. 
They  took  her  on — whilst  I  spoke  to  that  Ward — to  the 
other  in  the  Mayor's  Parlour.  There  she  made  a  speech  !  ! ! 
And,  so  on,  to  the  third  Ward  Committee.  All  the  time 
we  heard  the  ghostly  cheers  and  clapping  from  the  enemy's 
mass  meeting  under  the  same  roof. 

Papa  says  I  am  more  of  a  Chamberlain-ite  than  twelve 
months  ago. 

I  have  never  mentioned  Chamberlain,  except  in  refer- 
ence to  the  outrageous  interruption  at  Derby. 

I  preach  the  *  official '  programme.  But  I  serve  it  up 
so  *  piping  hot ' — hot  with  anger  against  the  foreigners  ; 
hot  with  enthusiasm  for  our  colonies — that  the  delirium 
grows. 

It 's  a  hard  fight.  I,  myself,  only  hope  to  win  by  three 
hundred  to  five  hundred .  My  workers  talk  of  one  thousand, 
but  they  are  excited. 

I  see  that  one  little  gibe  of  mine  has  got  into  the  London 
Press.  I  enclose  cutting.  It  would  have  pleased  dear 
Webber. 

It  comes  from  Henry  vi  and  is  a  good  parallel  to 
C.  B.'s  fatuous  vacillation.  Henry  vi.  says  *  For  Margaret 
my  Queen,  and  Warwick  too,'  I  have  only  changed  the 
names. 

The  Irish  are  polling  for  me  on  Religious  Education 
and  work  done,  in  defiance  of  the  National  League.  That 
makes  me  happy.  I  have  the  soldiers  solid.  I  have 
about  three  quarters  of  the  working-men  on  Fiscal  Reform. 
Some  who  have  always  been  Radical  are  with  me. 

On  the  other  hand,  every  Nonconformist  in  the  Town 
is  voting  against  me. 

They  mean  to  hold  back  and  vote  in  a  solid  army  from 
6  o'clock  to  8  in  the  evening,  in  the  hope  of  blocking  the 
polling-booths  against  our  working-men  who  generally 
delay. 

There  are  6300  voters.  I  have  3600  promises — in 
round  numbers. 


164         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

If  you  discount  both  figures,  it  comes  to  a  near  thing. 
But  my  people  believe  I  shall  win  by  a  good  majority. 

Anyway  we  *  go  in  '  on  the  first  day  and  are  straining 
every  nerve  to  set  an  example. — Your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

562 

To  his  Mother 

HOTEL  BURLINGTON, 
DOVER,  January  12th,  1906. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — S.  S.  did  show  me  your  letter, 
but  only  just  now,  after  all  the  meetings,  and  roaring, 
and  canvassing  and  trapesing  are — Thank  God  ! — over. 

I  am  rather  sorry  I  said  I  might  be  beaten.  But  it  was 
right,  really,  to  let  you  know.  I  am  enthusiastic  when 
anything  can  be  done  by  '  having  the  God  in  you.'  That 
is  what  enthusiasm  means — in  Greek.  The  literal  English 
would  be  '  God-inside-of-us-ness.'  But  no  one  is  cooler 
over  chances.  That  is  why  I  played  at  gambling  when  a 
boy,  before  I  worked  at  things  when  a  man. 

Now,  on  the  canvassing  returns,  if  you  take  an  80  % 
Poll,  that  is,  if  you  assume  that  only  four  will  vote  at  all 
out  of  five  on  the  register ;  and  if  you  take  75  %  of  your 
promises,  that  is,  that  only  three  will  vote  out  of  four 
who  say  they  will — I  should  only  win  by  270. 

If  I  assume  that  the  Freemen  are  in  some  cases  entered 
twice  on  the  Register ;  once  as  Freemen  and  again  as 
occupiers,  and  write  off  half  of  them  on  that  score : — 
then  my  majority  would  be  470. 

These  are  narrow  margins  on  6730  electors. 

A  wave  against  you  would  play  the  Devil ! 

My  opponents  have  tried  every  trick. 

They  got  Sir  Weetman  Pearson,  the  Contractor  for 
the  Naval  Harbour  Works,  to  wire  that  he  hoped  Bryce 
would  win.  Well,  2000  men  are  employed  on  the  Harbour. 
So  there  you  are  !  at  least  let  us  hope  so. 

The  great  thing  is  to  get  the  wave  the  other  way. 

If  I  have  done  that  I  may  swell  my  270,  or  my  470,  up 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  165 

to  700.  I  almost  hope  I  have  done  it,  or  that  S.  S.  and 
I,  have  done  it  between  us. 

We  hunt  down  the  *  doubtfuls,'  for  every  vote  counts. 
And  we  play  right  up  to  the  '  Mob.' 

The  mob  I  have  got  and  the  soldiers. 

You  must  not  abuse  dear  Dover. 

My  people  have  worked  splendidly,  and  we — S.  S.  and 
I — have  the  funniest  friends,  the  landlady  of  a  Public 
House,  all  the  real  working-men  of  Dover ;  and  Army. 
On  the  other  hand  what  will  Pearson's  men  do  ?  and  the 
Railway  men  ?  and  the  Gas  Works  ? 

I  shall  know  to-morrow  night.  We  had  a  wild  evening. 
There  have  never  been  such  doings. 

They  tried  to  break  up  my  meeting — far  the  largest 
ever  held. 

We  stood  at  bay  for  fifteen  or  twenty  minutes.  I 
started  twice,  and  then  sat  down  and  smoked  a  cigarette 
— (quite  right  for  once)  I  got  'em  at  last  and  spoke  for 
forty  or  fifty  minutes. 

Then  I  stood  on  a  chair  in  the  next  Hall  and  addressed 
the  overflow.  Then  S.  S.  and  I  were  dragged  round  the 
town — without  horses — Mrs.  Rhodes,  the  landlady,  at  the 
door,  and  the  funny  man  who  dances  on  the  box. 

Then  I  spoke  to  them  again  from  the  carriage. 

I  love  the  real  working-man  and  he  loves  us. — Your 
loving  son,  GEORGE. 

563 

To  his  Mother 

HOTEL  BURLINGTON, 
DOVER,  Midnight,  13/A  January  1906. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — We  are  all  astounded  at  our 
victory.  It  upsets  all  reasonable,  and  received  rules.  I 
reckoned  on  getting  | — 75  %  of  those  who  promised,  that 
is,  told  the  canvassers  they  were  '  for  Wyndham.'  I  sent 
my  estimate  up  to  the  Central  office  in  London ;  because 
they  are  very  '  jumpy '  there  and  had  their  eye  on  Dover. 
Our  Chief — Colonel  Haig — Middleton's  successor,  wrote 


166          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

back  that  my  estimate  was  the  one  he  had  found  correct 
during  sixteen  years  as  chief  Agent  in  Scotland. 

Very  well :  I  did  the  sum  and  it  gave  me  a  470  majority. 
I  felt  I  had  the  people,  the  mob,  the  men,  women  and 
children  with  me,  and,  towards  the  end,  thought  the 
'  wave  '  might  carry  me  to  '  700.' 

But  we  have  upset  all  calculations.  We  have  swept 
the  board.  Instead  of  polling  three  out  of  four  promises, 
I  polled  seven  out  of  eight.  What  Trojans  they  are  1 ! 
I  love  them. 

S.  S.  has  been  superb.  What  I  love  is  that  the  working 
men  love  me.  I  won  by  their  hearts. 

My  people  were  scared  to-day  when  Sir  Weatman 
Pearson,  the  contractor  for  the  Admiralty  telegraphed 
all  to  support  Bryce  and  to  go  against  Fiscal  Reform. 

I  was  quite  overcome  by  the  immense  response. 

Of  course  we  have  used  our  heads  as  well  as  our  hearts. 
I  think  we  have  beaten  all  records  of  electioneering,  initia- 
tive and  ingenuity  and  dash. 

Instead  of  six  or  seven  nomination  papers,  I  had  95 
with  ten  names  to  each,  representing  all  interests.  When 
3270  (?)  people  said  '  Yes  '  to  my  canvassers,  I  wrote  an 
autograph  letter,  had  it  lithographed  and  sent  it  to  each, 
thanking  them  and  asking  them  to  increase  my  obliga- 
tion and  add  to  the  value  of  their  support  of  *  our  prin- 
ciples '  by  polling  between  8  and  11  in  the  morning. 

Last  night  I  beat  organized  interruption  and  then  spoke 
for  fifty  minutes ;  and  then  got  on  a  chair  and  spoke  to 
an  overflow  meeting ;  and  then  drove  all  round  the 
town,  horses  taken  out — spoke  again  here  from  the 
carriage. 

To-day  S.  S.  and  I  started  at  9  o'clock  and  drove  round 
till  6.30  and  off  again  at  7.30  to  the  Town  Hall.  All  the 
children  were  with  me.  They  clustered  like  bees  on  my 
carriage  singing  electioneering  songs. 

I  drove  up  the  oldest  sailors  in  our  sociable.  Men 
walked  in  six  miles — labourers — to  vote  for  me. 

The  sea  of  faces  at  the  declaration  remains  bitten  into 
my  memory.  Then  we  went  to  the  Carlton  Club  and  I 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  167 

spoke  from  the  window  to  a  solid  square  of  humanity 
filling  the  Market  Square,  and  so  on  and  so  on. 

My  hand  is  crushed  with  hand-shakes.  We  all  love 
each  other. 

My  joy  is  that  in  spite  of  Pearson,  and  Trades  Unions,  I 
polled  out  the  Working-man  for  the  Empire. 

I  have  never  attacked  my  opponent  or  anyone  else. 

All  my  song  has  been  the  brotherhood  of  the  Empire 
for  us  all,  fair  terms  from  the  Foreigner,  and  the  glory  of 
Empire  for  our  children — with  a  little  straight  talk  for 
Christianity  in  our  schools,  as  the  birthright  of  English 
children. 

Instead  of  being  '  smart '  at  the  expense  of  my  opponents 
I  have  opened  my  heart  to  all  their  hearts  and,  we  just 
love  each  other. 

I  won  on  Toryism,  Empire  and  Fiscal  Reform.  The 
Irish  voted  for  me ;  the  Fishermen  voted  for  me,  the 
Soldiers  voted  tor  me,  the  Artisans  voted  for  me  !  simply 
because  we  liked  each  other  and  love  the  traditions  of  the 
past  and  the  Glory  of  the  Future. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

564 

To  his  Mother 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  January  24th,  1906. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — Your  long,  wonderful '  Mother's ' 
letter,  found  me  just  at  the  right  moment. 

We  are  anxious  about  darling  Cuckoo's  little  Mary. 
*  Satisfactory '  wire  this  morning :  but  she  has  pneu- 
monia, at  Madresfield.  S.  S.  is  there. 

So  I  am  alone — just  arrived — and  Perf  out  hunting. 
Now  you  see  how  clever  it  was  of  you  to  write  yesterday 
and  address  the  letter  here  ! 

SibelPs  letter  which  met  me  in  the  brougham  made  me 
anxious  about  little  Mary — my  God-daughter  and  such 
.a  sweet  and,  then,  Cuckoo.  .  .  .  Then  I  found  a  wire  to 
Perf,  here,  sent  to-day  which  said  it  was  satisfactory. 


168          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

This  touch  of  the  actual  would  make  me  realize  the 
insignificance  of  Electioneering ;  if  I  needed  a  reminder. 
But  I  do  not. 

I  have  felt  a  great  deal  and  thought  a  great  deal  in  the 
last  year.  I  do  not  think  with  you,  Darling,  that  I  am 
an  '  instrument,'  in  the  sense  of  being  necessary  or  im- 
portant. But  I  know  I  am  an  '  instrument '  in  the 
sense  that  I  have  been  made  to  feel  more  and,  perhaps, 
to  think  more,  than  others.  That  gives  me,  or  strengthens 
hi  me,  the  odd  power  that  I  certainly  have — not  of  myself 
— over  great  masses  of  people. 

They  listen  and  believe.  I  have  not  always  got  it  to- 
the  full.  It  fluctuates.  But  when  I  am  really  magnetic  I 
can  sweep  crowd  after  crowd.  It  is  not  oratory.  Because, 
when  I  have  it,  they  do  not  wait  for  me  to  finish  my  sen- 
tences. I  have  it  on  alternate  days.  Monday,  at  Penarth, 
I  only  '  held  '  a  huge  meeting,  and  only  argued.  But 
Tuesday,  at  the  blackest  of  the  rout,  I  spoke  better  and 
exerted  more  influence  than  at  any  time  in  my  life  with 
the  two  exceptions  of  my  speech  on  the  War,  and  my 
speech  on  the  Land  Act  in  the  House.  It  was  almost 
frightening  to  be  so  intimate  with  so  many.  I  know  the 
symptoms.  But  they  made  me  gasp  at  the  end.  They 
mobbed  up  to  the  platform  and  made  me  sign  my  name 
on  cards  and  tickets,  and  bits  of  torn  paper  till  my  hand 
ached  and  then  dragged  me  round  the  town. 

I  shall  never  forget  my  night,  alone  at  the  Royal  Hotel, 
Cardiff.  The  '  Mail '  office  flashed  Liberal  wins  with 
red  lights  into  my  room,  all  night  till  1  a.m.  amid  hoarse 
cheers  and  shouts  of  execration.  I  was  alone  with  those 
Danger  Signals.  Yet  I  had  a  great,  intoxicated  wave 
of  humanity  with  me. 

At  Brigend  on  Wednesday  I  did  very  well — but  without 
magic.  On  Saturday  I  again  '  swept '  my  audience  on 
Market  day  in  the  Shire  Hall.  On  Monday  I  went  to 
Bognor  to  help  Edmund  Talbot.  They  had  the  biggest 
meeting  ever  known  in  the  Assembly  Rooms.  I  spoke 
for  an  hour  and  did  well — but  no  magic,  and  then  spoke 
at  an  overflow  with  magic.  Then  I  drove  to  Chichester 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  169 

with  his  daughter,  Magdalene.  Yesterday,  Tuesday,  I 
had  a  hard  day.  Went  to  London,  saw  Ned  Talbot  for 
a  moment,  drove  to  St.  Pancras,  ten  minutes  lunch  at 
the  station,  and  long  journey  to  Hyde  in  Cheshire.  I 
arrived  too  late  for  Dinner,  had  some  bread  and  butter 
and  was  delivered,  worn-out  and  unprepared,  to  an 
audience  of  4000  in  the  theatre.  They  did  all  I  detest. 
Put  up  the  Candidate  who  cannot  speak.  Asked  me  to 
wait  and  speak  after  Balcarres.  He  was  at  the  '  over- 
flow ' ;  did  not  get  back  in  time  etc.,  etc.  So  that,  tired, 
hungry,  I  suddenly  had  to  speak.  And  once  more,  the 
power  came  to  me.  I  made  them  delirious.  Then  they 
took  me  to  the  overflow  and  I  spoke  again.  Then  they 
took  me  to  the  Club  and  I  made  my  third  speech. 

I  refused  to  speak  to-night.  To-morrow  I  speak  at 
Crewe,  and  on  Friday  at  Rhyl. 

I  wish  you  had  been  there  on  Tuesday,  or  last  night. 
But  I  cannot  count  on  doing  it.  It  happens  to  me. 

Last  night,  when  I  had  conquered  all  opposition  and 
lit  a  light  in  many  eyes,  it  was  too  late  to  argue.  Some 
verses  of  Davidson,  came  into  my  head  : — 

'  The  Present  is  a  Dungeon  Dark 
Of  Social  Problems.     Break  the  Jail ! 
Get  out  into  the  splendid  Past 
Or  bid  the  splendid  Future  hail.' 

To-day  it  seems  silly  to  quote  that. 

Last  night  I  quoted  it,  and  applied  it,  and  turned  and 
twisted  it  up  spirals  of  impassioned  words,  until  as  I 
shouted  '  Bid  the  more  splendid  Future  hail !  And  go 
forward  to  meet  it ! ! '  There  was  such  a  roar  of  cheering 
that  I  sat  down  ;  having  '  done  it '  once  more. 

And,  now,  to-day  comes  the  human  touch  of  loneliness 
and  little  Mary's  danger. 

I  remember  your  saying,  when  Clouds  was  burnt,  that 
it  made  you  feel  the  truth  of  immortality.  Papa  dissented. 
But  that  is  what  I  feel. 

I  never  felt  so  sure  that  Conservatism  and  Imperialism 
are  true  and  immortal,  than  to-day. 


170          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

I  am  sorry  that  I  am  not  speaking  to-night. 

I  do  not  feel  vindictive.  I  do  look  forward  to  the 
Debate  on  the  Address. 

Only  one  thing  has  persisted  in  this  turmoil.  That  is 
the  blatant,  lower-middle-class,  fraud,  called  Liberalism 
or  *  Free  Trade.' 

Two  things — that  are  real — emerge  : — 

Labour  and  Imperialism.  They  aim  at  the  same  goal : 
a  better  life  for  more  of  us. 

I  believe  in  my  method.  They  believe  in  their  method. 
We  shall  see. 

But,  whether  we  are  Socialists  or  Imperialists,  we  are 
living  men. 

The  others  are  old  women  and  senile  professors. 

They  have  got  to  clear  out  of  '  the  ring  '  in  which  we 
are  going  to  have  a  *  fight  to  the  finish.' — Your  ever  loving 
son,  GEORGE. 

565 

To  his  Father 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  January  2&th,  1906. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  am  much  interested  in  your 
letter,  but  too  tired  to  reply. 

Melbourne's  observation  on  '  fools  '  was  in  respect  of 
Catholic  Emancipation.  He  was  right  on  existing  facts. 
He  was  wrong  on  the  facts  that  were  to  be.  If  the  '  fools  ' 
who  were  right  on  existing  facts  had  prevailed  against 
the  common  sense  of  the  Duke  of  Wellington  we  should 
have  endured  sixty  years  ago,  what  we  now  have  to  face, 
but  the  question  would  have  been  poisoned  by  religious 
enmity. 

Conservatives  who  reverence,  and  believe  in,  the  Past, 
can  alone  gaze  at  the  Future. 

The  rotten  mystification  of  Radicalism  consists  in 
fidgeting  and  fussing,  about  the  Present. 

My  detachment  from  the  present  sometimes  troubles  me. 

But  it  gives  me  an  immense  power  over  mobs.     They 


TO  HIS  FATHER  171 

feel  that  I  do  not  worry  over  the  Present.  And,  because 
they  feel  that,  they  listen  to  me  when  I  applaud  the  Past 
and  unfold  the  Future. 

I  have  three  talismans  which  help  me  in  such  a  welter 
as  we  are  now  confronting. 

1.  Pater.     '  The    Present,    is    an    apex    between    two 
hypothetical  Eternities.' 

2.  Bagehot.     '  A  Romantic  attachment  to  the  Past  is 
a  very  different  thing  from  a  slavish  adoration  of  the 
Present.' 

3.  When  the  last  Emperor  of  Eastern  Rome,  Constantine 
Palaeologus,  fell  buried  under  a  pyramid  of  Eastern  chivalry 
in  1453,  all  seemed  lost. 

But  he  *  fought  to  a  finish.'  And  that  colossal  over- 
throw created  the  Renaissance  of  Modern  Europe. 

Now,  to-day  in  England,  we  are  fighting  to  a  finish — 
*  damned  badly  ' — I  admit. 

But  in  the  course  of  the  fight,  the  Education  Act,  and 
Home  Rule,  and  Chinese  Slavery,  and  '  Dear  Food  '  are 
so  much  ammunition  which  has  thinned  our  ranks  but  is, 
now,  expended. 

Two  ideals,  and  only  two,  emerge  from  the  vortex  : — 

(1)  Imperialism,    which    demands    Unity    at    Home, 
between  classes,  and  Unity  throughout  the  Empire  ;   and 
which  prescribes  Fiscal  Reform  to  secure  both. 

(2)  Insular  Socialism  and  Class  Antagonism. 

Both  these  ideals  are  intellectually  reasonable.  But 
the  first  is  based  on  the  past,  on  experience,  and  looks  to 
the  Future.  The  second  looks  only  at  the  Present, 
through  a  microscope. 

Between  these  two  ideals  a  great  battle  will  be  fought. 
I  do  not  know  which  will  win.  If  Imperialism  wins  we 
shall  go  on  and  be  a  great  Empire. 

If  Socialism  wins  we  shall  cease  to  be.  The  rich  will 
be  plundered.  The  poor  will  suffer.  We  shall  perish 
with  Babylon,  Rome  and  Constantinople. 

The  fight  is  a  '  square  '  fight. 

As  for  the  *  Liberals  '  and  '  Unionist  Free  Traders  ' 
— the  *  Whigs  '  of  our  day — Well !  Their  day  is  over. 


172         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

It  is  they  who  are  drowned. 

The  Imperialists  and  Socialists  emerge. 

That  is  the  dividing  line  of  future  parties. 

The  Bankers  and  Hair-dressers  and  4  epiciers,'  are  out 
of  the  hunt. 

It  is  a  good  fight  for  huge  stakes. 

As  for  C.  B.  and  the  remnants  of  *  Whiggery  '  there  is 
no  room  for  their  subterfuges. 

We,  the  Imperialists,  using  Fiscal  Reform  as  our  weapon, 
are  only  beginning. — Your  affectionate  son, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

566 

To  Bertram  Windle 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  January  25th,  1906. 

MY  DEAR  DR.  WINDLE, — It  is  always  a  pleasure  to  see 
your  handwriting.  I  appreciated  your  kind  letter  of 
congratulations  on  Dover  above  almost  all  that  reached 
me,  and  now  we  come  to  a  business  which  I  long  to  see 
concluded. 

I  am  writing  a  brief  note  to  Mr.  Bryce  by  this  post, 
directing  his  attention  to  the  formal  memo,  which  I  sent 
to  Mr.  Long,  and  asking  for  an  interview  at  an  early  date. 

I  wish  we  could  both  of  us  meet  him  soon.  The  personal 
obligation  on  my  part  to  you  is  the  only  outstanding  Irish 
Question  which  vexes  me  But  apart  from,  and  beyond, 
that,  I  can  enjoy  no  public  peace  of  mind  until  something 
is  done  to  get  rid  of  the  disparity  in  respect  of  opportunities 
for  Education  under  which  Ireland  suffers. 

That  is  outside  the  Home  Rule  controversy.  I  read 
Mr.  Haldane's  speech  with  pleasure  and  relief. 

The  Liberals  have  a  chance  which  I  never  enjoyed.  I 
hope  they  will  use  it  for  Irish  Education.  It  is  the  only 
Irish  question  they  can  advance.  I  have  suffered  in  that 
cause  and  am  ready  to  suffer  again.  But  they  must  drop 
4  step  by  step  to  constitutional  Home  Rule.'  That  spells 
ruin  to  all  practical  measures.  I  am  fighting  our  '  lost 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  173 

cause  '  de  node  in  noctem.  But  I  have  time  for  the  things 
that  I  care  about ;  and  Irish  Education  is  one  of  them. — 
Yours  very  sincerely,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

P.S. — I  have  marked  this  '  private.'  But  you  may, 
of  course,  send  it  to  the  Chief  Sec. 

567 

To  his  Mother 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  January  27th,  1906. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  found  your  two  letters  on 
arriving  here  at  the  end  of  my  campaign. 

I  had  neuralgia  on  Thursday.  But  I  '  came  to  time ' 
for  the  Crewe  meeting  that  night.  I  slept  in  the  tram 
there,  found  the  hotel  full  up  for  the  Hunt  Ball,  but  slept 
three-quarters  of  an  hour  on  a  sofa  in  the  commercial 
travellers'  room.  My  neuralgia  was  gone.  And — to  my 
pleasant  surprise — I  carried  my  audience  away.  You 
cannot  imagine  the  wild  enthusiasm.  They  hoisted  me 
up  on  their  shoulders  and  pitched  me  into  the  carriage. 
Then  they  took  out  the  horses  and  dragged  me  to  the 
Market-Square  and  made  me  speak  to  the  cheering  and 
yelling  crowds.  We  have  lost  the  seat.  But  over  5000 
men  are  mad  on  the  revenge.  That  night  I  worked  on 
the  contrast  between  the  Albert  Hall  speech  of  C.  B.  and 
the  smooth  sedative  of  Haldane  at  the  end — after  the  lies 
had  done  the  trick.  I  took  for  my  text  the  line  in  the 
Peers'  chorus  of  lolanthe,  4  We  did  nothing  in  particular 
and  did  it  very  well.'  I  showed  them  the  composite 
victory  won  by  lies  about  slavery,  lies  about  dear  food 
etc.,  and  then  I  said,  there  are  only  two  parties  that  face 
facts — The  Labour  Party  and  our  Party.  I  denounced 
them — the  Labour  Party's  methods — alliance  with  Home 
Rule,  reliance  on  Foreign  socialists  and  defiance  to  our 
own  Colonies.  But  I  applauded  their  aim.  I  then  held 
up  our  method  to  reach  the  same  goal,  interdependence 
instead  of  class  antagonism,  Union,  Empire,  fair  play, 
etc.,  etc.  When,  for  the  third  or  fourth  time  I  said,  and 


174         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

now,  after  all  the  Hullabaloo,  it  means  that  Haldane 
and  Asquith  are  to  do  nothing  in  particular,  but  to  do  it 
very  well,  they  yelled  in  derision  of  the  most  infamous- 
swindle  ever  imposed  on  the  public. 

Last  night  I  went  to  St.  Asaph  and  spoke  at  Rhyl.. 
There  is  no  chance  there.  The  Bishop's  son  is  standing. 

I  can  never  speak  except  to  persuade.  How  was  I  to 
do  it  at  this  last  moment  of  a  lost  campaign  ?  I  had  twa 
'  motifs.''  (1)  Comic — The  Giant  Majority — '  Even  real 
giants,  that  you  see  at  a  Fair,  are  not  very  strong — especi- 
ally in  the  head  (roars  of  laughter)  and  medical  science 
teaches  us  that  the  head  of  the  giant  has  a  less  perfect 
control  over  the  limbs  than  in  the  case  of  ordinary  persons. 
But  made  up  giants,  whom  you  see  in  a  Pantomime  always 
come  to  pieces  before  the  end  of  the  Performance  ! ! ! ' 

(2)  My  other — serious — motif — was  that  whether  we 
won  or  lost — every  vote  for  a  Unionist  had  a  meaning 
and  a  value,  it  meant  fiscal  Reform,  it  bought  the  applica- 
tion of  the  sound  remedy  a  day  nearer  ! 

I  am  glad  to  say  that  I  spoke  better  last  night  even- 
than  at  Cardiff  or  Hyde  or  Crewe.  I  made  their  eyes 
glitter. 

My  campaign  has  not  been  futile.  We  have  polled 
2,300,000  votes  for  '  Facing  Facts  and  finding  a  remedy 
in  Fiscal  Reform.' 

The  Liberals  have  polled  2,500,000.  But  of  these  how 
many  are  Nationalists  and  Labour — who  detest  the  sham 
of  '  profit  sharing  '  liberalism  ? 

By  fighting  on  up-hill  we  have  won  a  moral  victory, 
'  There  is  a  budding  morrow  in  midnight.' 

And  now  I  am  going  to  rest ;  hoping  and  believing, 
that  on  the  Address,  and  after,  I  shall  have  much  to  say 
— to  the  point,  without  a  button  on  it. 

I  am  '  journalier  '  as  you  know.  I  am  sorry  that  I  did 
not  '  come  off  '  at  Bognor  on  Monday.  I  am  sorry  that 
I  have  spoken  better  since  Dover  than  at  Dover. 

But  for  reasons  which  I  cannot  understand,  I  have 
spoken  at  Cardiff,  Brigend,  Hyde,  Crewe  and  Rhyl  far 
better  than  when  all  went  well  in  1900. 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  175 

And  I  am — at  last — my  own  self  again.  I  sleep  sound. 
My  tongue  is  as  pink  as  a  raspberry.  And,  after  speaking 
thirty-five  times,  I  have  only  just  begun  to  unfold  my 
argument. — Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

568 
To  Wilfrid  Ward 

SAIGHTON, 
January  28lh,  1906. 

MY  DEAR  WILFRID, — At  last  I  have  a  moment  to  myself, 
and  can  thank  you  for  your  congratulations. 

I  have  been  speaking,  all  over  the  country  to  good 
audiences.  It  is  a  strange  experience  and,  I  imagine,  a 
bad  one  on  the  whole.  To  be  the  centre  of  cheering  and 
yelling  for  nearly  five  weeks  cannot  be  good  for  the  soul, 
the  mind,  or  the  body.  The  general  impression  to  me  is 
always  barbaric  and  sometimes  savage. 

But  it  has  a  good  side.  All  barriers  of  birth  and  wealth 
and  education  are  cast  down.  You  make  real,  intimate 
friends  of  men  whom  otherwise  you  would  never  have 
known.  The  intimacy  of  naked  contention  is  bracing 
though  primitive.  And  there  are  pretty  touches  ;  the 
election  of  Ned  1  in  his  absence  for  example. 

But,  in  the  main,  the  whole  business  is  blatant  and 
barbaric. 

With  my  kindest  regards  to  your  wife  and  children, — 
Yours  ever,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

569 

To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  28th  January  1906. 

DARLING  PAMELO, — '  Now  the  hurly-burly  's  done,'  I 
must  write  to  congratulate  on  Eddy's  victory.  I  have 
been  speaking  continuously  for  over  four  weeks. 

To-day  I  have  been  dealing  with  my  correspondence — 

1  Lord  Edmund  Talbot. 


176         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

a  desolating  experience.  The  phrase  always  suggests  to 
my  mind  a  smiling  lunatic,  with  straws  in  his  hair,  deal- 
ing out  his  letters  as  if  for  Bridge,  in  fact  I  have  got  mine 
into  four  packets,  marked  '  Pressing,'  '  Immediate,' 
4  Dover,'  and  '  Friends.'  More,  at  present,  I  cannot 
attempt,  so  I  just  write  to  thank  you  for  Eddy's  victorious 
portrait,  and  to  congratulate. 

Let  us  enjoy  the  first  part  of  the  Session. — Ever  your 
devoted  brother,  GEORGE. 

570 

To  his  Sister,  Madeline 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  28.i.06. 

DARLING  MANENAI, — I  send  one  line  of  thanks  for  your 
dear  congratulations. 

'  Whew  ! '  what  a  licking  we  have  taken. 

I  enjoy  a  losing  fight  and  have  taken  '  delight  of  battle 
with  my  peers  '  for  nearly  five  weeks. 

My  meetings  have  been  glorious. 

I  am  quite  sure  that  we  shall  win  on  Fiscal  Reform.  I 
would  not  be  on  the  other  side  for  the  fortune  of  an 
American  millionaire.  I  am  glad  Charley  is  not  of  that 
camp  of  lying  and  hypocrisy. 

Now — at  last — we  have  a  straight  fight  before  us — 
(1)  Tariff  Reform  and  the  Empire  against  (2)  Cosmopolitan 
sentiment  and  parochial  malice. 

In  the  autumn  I  felt  a  longing  to  '  chuck  the  whole 
show.'  Now  I  am  ready  to  fight  on,  for  years,  in  the  sure 
confidence  of  victory.  I  have  made  35  speeches  and 
*  trained  on '  all  the  time.  But  my  audiences  have 
'  trained  on  '  far  better.  As  Buller  said,  '  the  MEN  are 
splendid.'  We  have  no  use  for  those  who  are  not  MEN. — 
Your  loving  brother,  GEORGE. 


CHAPTER  XI 

JANUARY  1906  TO  APRIL  TTH  1908 

In  Opposition— The  Education  Bill— Death  of  W.  E.  Henley- 
Address  on  Walter  Scott— The  Fiscal  Question— The  Army— The 
Licensing  Bill. 

571 

To  his  Father 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  February  4th,  1906. 

DEAREST  PAPA, — Since  I  saw  you  I  have  been  in  the  thick 
of  '  the  Crisis.'  I  had  an  hour  and  a  quarter  alone  with 
Arthur  just  before  he  dined  alone  with  Joe  on  Friday, 
and  I  return  to-morrow,  Monday,  at  his  suggestion.  A 
good  deal  is  going  on,  if  indeed  '  on  '  is  the  right  word  to 
put  after  '  going,'  that  is  what  we  shall  see. 

I  had  written  to  him  a  long  letter  the  previous  Sunday 
and  was  just  off  by  the  4.  p.m.  (after  seeing  Wilfrid), 
luckily  I  looked  in  at  '  44 '  and  found  two  telegrams  tell- 
ing me  to  come  to  Arthur. 

I  caught  the  7-30  after  our  talk,  and  was  given  on  the 
platform  a  letter  from  the  Archbishop  of  Canterbury, 
begging  me  to  see  him  Monday,  Tuesday  or  Wednesday 
on  Education. 

So  I  start  early  to-morrow  on  these  quests.  It  seems 
impossible  to  hunt  this  year  and  Percy  is  benefitting  to 
the  extent  of  the  amalgamated  stud. 

I  have  read  Lord  Masham's  obituary  notice  in  the 
'Times'  of  3-2-06.  I  put  it  in  a  long  envelope  with 
this  note.  N.B. — This  short  life  is  (1)  Best  reply  to  the 
theory  that  all  wealth  is  created  by  labour  (2)  Best  argu- 
ment for  social  reform. — Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

VOL.  II.  M 


178         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

572 

To  his  Father 

44  BELGUAVE  SQUARE,  S.W.r 
February  \lth,  1906. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  am  here  for  *  swearing  in '  and 
now  must  stay  over  to-morrow  for  Party  Meeting.  I 
should  like  to  return  Saturday  for  Arthur  Balfour's  '  Oppo- 
sition Dinner.'  If  really  quite  convenient  I  should  also 
like  to  make  *  44  '  my  headquarters  for  the  fortnight  of 
the  Address  i.e.  till  March  3rd.  I  then  go  to  Dover. 
Sibell  has  let  our  house  till  March  9th,  at  twenty-five 
guineas  a  week — a  sum  we  cannot  afford  to  despise. 

But  apart  from  any  other  arrangements,  Pamela  would 
like  me  to  stay  at  Lennox  Gardens,  so  that  if  it  is  at  all 
inconvenient  for  me  to  be  here  I  can  get  board  very  easily. 

I  should  very  much  like  to  be  with  you  at  '  44  '  and 
indulge  in  constitutional  comparisons  between  the  pre- 
sent situation  and  those  which  you  remember. 

I  can  easily  do  my  writing  in  your  dressing-room 
upstairs  without  troubling  Margaret  to  keep  a  fire  in  the 
boudoir  or  elsewhere. 

I  am  very  busy,  I  intend  to  take  a  line  of  my  own  on 
South  Africa  and  the  Education  Bill. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

573 

To  his  Mother 

44  BELORAVE  SQUARE,  S.W., 
February  14th,  1906. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — What  a  nice  Valentine  !  Yesr 
these  cross-loyalties  make  a  teazing  net.  But  I  am  not 
going  to  write  now — after  dinner — as  I  am  really  in 
training  for  the  Future  and  determined  not  to  excite 
my  brain  before  going  to  bed. 

I  enclose  the  best  substitute  for  a  look !  a  snap-shot 
taken  as  I  walked  away  from  the  House  yesterday  which 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  179 

appears — I  am  told — in  the  '  Daily  Mirror.'  The  man 
sent  it  me. 

I,  probably,  go  to  Dover  March  3rd  to  the  9th  after 
the  Address. 

Now  to  bed  !  I  want  to  be  fresh  for  the  Party  Meeting. 
— Ever  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

574 

To  his  Mother 

HOUSE  OP  COMMONS, 
February  20th,  1906. 

DARLING  MAMMA, — Easter  will  be  delightful.  I  am 
very  busy  and  very  well.  '  44  '  is  quite  comfortable.  I 
am  in  your  room  enjoying  '  Cupid  and  Psyche  ' :  and  using 
the  dressing-room  as  an  office. 

The  debates  have  been  dull.  I  intend  to  take  up 
Education  and  defend  the  Church.  I  keep  quiet  and 
wait.  Education,  South  Africa,  Army,  Ireland  ; — on  all 
these  I  have  a  great  deal  to  say  and  then,  Fiscals  and 
Empire. 

Unless  I  am  dragged  into  debate  on  the  Address  I  shall 
wait  for  the  peremptory  call  of  circumstance. — Your  most 
loving  son,  GEOKGE. 

575 

To  his  Mother 

44  BELGRAVE  SQUARE,  S.W., 
February  28th,  1906. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  hardly  think  it  would  be 
worth  while  to  come  to  Dover.  I  doubt  if  there  would 
be  any  big  functions  ;  probably  only  a  supper  to  Ward 
Committee  and  a  dinner  to  the  Carlton  Club ;  in  fact,  I 
feel  sure  that  the  election  fever  is  over.  You  must  come 
to  a  big  Meeting  in  the  Autumn,  I  hope  by  then  to  have 
done  something  to  make  the  Party  grateful. 

I  was  at  Basingstoke  the  night  of  the  division  on  Chinese 
Labour.  Our  leaders  are  in  bed.  Arthur  and  I  '  chipped 


180         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

in '  this  afternoon  on  Rules  of  Procedure.  I  wanted  to 
make  more  row.  But  there  is  no  backing  at  present. 

I  am  anxious  over  South  Africa.  But  the  defensive 
forces  are  great  and  can  be  marshalled.  Clouds  will  be 
delightful.  Perf  is  very  happy  with  Allen  reading  Euri- 
pides, Cicero,  Burke,  and  Gibbon. 

Love  to  all. — Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

576 

To  his  Father 

GRAND  HOTEL, 
DOVER,  March  3rd,  1906. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  find  that  there  will  be  even  less 
going  on  at  Dover  than  I  expected,  so  that  it  certainly 
would  not  be  worth  Mamma's  while  to  go  there  now. 

Churchill  only  left  me  fourteen  minutes  for  my  reply 
before  midnight.  I  had,  therefore,  to  get  my  shots  on 
the  target  very  quickly,  merely  making  my  points  without 
developing  them. 

The  Government  are  playing  the  very  Devil  with  South 
Africa. 

Love  to  all. — Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

577 
To  his  Father 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  March  24th,  1906. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — We  came  here  yesterday  for  a  rest 
and  breath  of  fresh  air. 

Bendor  had  a  grand  meeting  of  '  delegates  '  from  all 
North  Wales — gave  lunch  to  five  hundred  and  sat  from 
12  to  4.30.  Telegraphed,  and  sent  a  message  to  Lord 
Milner  and,  on  Tuesday,  Bendor  will  speak  in  the  Lords 
on  Land  Settlement  in  South  Africa. 

He  is  really  a  splendid  fellow  and  is  becoming  a  very 
great  personage  in  these  parts. 

We  all  hunted  to-day  and  had  very  good  sport  with 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  181 

Watkin  Wynn.  First  we  went  up  into  the  hills,  chopped 
a  fox,  and  drove  another  into  the  vale.  We  had  to  get 
down  a  precipice  and  those  who  had  climbed  the  hill  and 
4  negotiated  '  the  precipice  enjoyed  a  capital  hunting  run, 
with  a  *  holding '  scent.  We  ran  to  ground  near  the 
Wyches  a  point  of  from  five  to  six  miles. 

In  the  afternoon  we  had  a  good  gallop  from  one  of  the 
best  vale  coverts — about  thirty-five  minutes  over  the 
cream  of  the  country.  But  for  one  check  it  would  have 
been  ideal.  Bendor,  Wengy  Jones,  and  I  '  cut  out  the 
work '  to  the  check  and  enjoyed  ourselves,  hugely,  over 
flying  fences,  rails  and  the  Grafton  brook. 

Hunting  is  certainly  the  best  '  stand-by '  one  can  have. 
It  requires  no  practice.  After  four  weeks  in  the  House 
one  can  just  simply  float  away  in  the  first  flight. 

Golf  and  shooting  take  more  time  and  exact  practice. 
But  with  hunting,  given  a  scent,  you  have  only  got  to 
enjoy  yourself.  There  is  no  bother  or  anxiety  about  it. 

I  feel  ten  years  younger  after  my  ride. — Your  loving 
son,  GEORGE. 

578 

To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

SAIOHTON, 
Lady  Day,  1906. 

MOST  DARLING  PAMELO, — How  would  next  Saturday 
suit  for  crossing  the  lintel  ?  Sunday  is  the  first  of 
April,  the  real  New  Year's  Day,  so  that  I  should  begin 
the  year  with  you  in  the  new  Wilsford.  April,  Avril 
the  month  of  Aphrodite,  is  my  favourite  out  of  all  the 
pomp.  I  want  to  be  one  of  the  first  to  cross  the  lintel, 
and  hope  that  my  little  gifts  for  the  children  will  be  ready 
by  then.  But  I  must  find  something  for  Christopher 
and  David. 

I  saw  a  silly  joke  in  a  shop  window  the  other  day ;  a 
picture  of  a  fat  man  drowning  in  mid-stream  and  calling 
out  *  help  !  help  !  I  can't  swim.'  A  lean  American  on 
the  bank  replies  '  Wall,  I  can't  swim  either,  but  I  don't 
make  such  a  durned  noise  about  it.' 


182         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

We  came  here  Friday,  after  much  penting  at  West- 
minster, and  on  Saturday  I  had  a  good  hunt — two  capital 
gallops  over  the  vale.  To-day  I  played  with  my  books 
and  defied  the  North  East  wind. 

The  owls  woke  me  at  five  o'clock.  I  could  hear  their 
wings  as  they  brushed  past  our  windows.  They  are  paid, 
like  old  watchmen,  to  call  the  birds,  for  the  dawn  chorus 
began  immediately.  The  garden  is  full  of  confiding 
thrushes  with  latticed  breasts,  looking  sentimental  out 
of  round,  liquid  eyes.  What  with  the  east  wind  and 
over-eating,  they  are  '  as  sad  as  night  for  very  wantonness,' 
sad,  of  course,  in  the  comfortable,  over-fed,  sentimental 
way  that  makes  for  liquid  eyes  and  liquid  utterance. 
There  is  nothing  austere  about  a  thrush.  Lyrical  people 
are  never  austere. 

Sibell,  Percy  and  I  go  to  Clouds  for  Easter,  and  I  shall 
ride  over  to  see  you  then.  But  I  hope  Saturday  next 
will  suit  for  I  long  to  see  the  House  whilst  it  is  still  self- 
conscious  and  appreciative  of  attention.  Houses  and 
children  pass  beyond  that  stage  so  soon,  and  hate  being 
told  that  you  remember  them  when  they  were  so  high. 

Why  have  I  written  lintel  twice  instead  of  threshold  ? 
I  can  think  of  no  reason  except  that  I  like  the  word  better. 
Nobody  threshes  corn  in  the  doorway  now,  and,  if  they 
ever  did,  I  doubt  if  they  gave  a  utilitarian  name  to  such  a 
mystical  limit.  I  shall  call  it  the  door-sill  and  not  the 
threshold,  since  I  may  not  call  it  the  lintel. — Your  devoted 
brother,  GEORGE. 

579 
To  his  Mother 

WILSFORD  MANOR, 
SALISBURY,  April  1st,  1906. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — It  is  too  bad  that  darling 
Guy  should  be  laid  up.  But  Minnie's  wire  of  yesterday 
to  you  is  consoling. 

This  is  a  beautiful  home  full  of  peace  and  happy  children. 
The  architecture  gives  me  positive  joy  and  plenty  of  it. 
Pam  is  very  well.  Eddy, — Pam  in  Mouse  cart — and  I 


TO  WILFRID  WARD  188 

walked  up  to  the  Stones  yesterday  and  engaged  in  village 
humour  with  the  policeman  in  charge,  who  was  born  at 
Newton  Toney  and  served  with  dear  old  Guy  at  Canterbury 
in  the  16th. 

The  desk  I  have  given  to  Bim  was  a  great  success  and 
also  the  set  of  Dickens  to  Clare. 

I  love  this  country.  Love  to  all. — Your  most  loving 
son,  GEORGE. 

580 
To  Wilfrid  Ward 

CLOUDS, 
SALISBURY,  April  Ilth,  1906. 

MY  DEAR  WILFRID, — I  devoted  my  first  afternoon  of 
holiday  to  the  April '  Dublin  Review.'  It  is  a  good  number. 
I  always  want  to  cross-examine  Barry ;  mainly  because 
I  want  to  accept  the  conclusions  towards  which  he 
manoeuvres.  But  I  have  a  sense  that  he  is  4  manoeuvring  ' 
and  this  increased  by  a  style  which  has  become  more 
laboured.  Contrast  O'Dwyer !  How  direct  he  is,  and 
with  what  sober  gallantry  his  sentences  march  ! 

But,  perhaps,  I  am  influenced  not  only  by  his  style 
but  even  more  by  his  matter. 

He  has  made  me  feel  a  fool  and  I  am  glad  of  it. 

He  is  right.  The  next  step  is  to  endow  and  deliver 
the  Senate  of  the  Royal  University.  I  feel  a  fool  for  not 
having  thought  of  that.  It  is  so  obvious  when  stated. 
We  were  blinded  by  the  true  objections  to  an  Examining 
University.  But  I  agree  with  every  word  he  has  written. 
Aim  at  a  teaching  residential  University ;  but  find  your 
constituent  Assembly — ready  to  hand — for  its  construction 
in  the  Senate  of  the  existing  Examining  University.  That 
is  sound  conservative  and  constructive  statemanship. 
But  the  Government  might  accept  it  on  the  plea  of  letting 
Irishmen  settle  the  matter.  But  if  it  is  to  be  done  it  must 
be  done  quickly.  Birrell's  Bill  spells  war  to  the  knife  for 
all  English  Churchmen. 

Settle   the   Irish   University   question   before   English 


184         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

elementary  education  develops — as  it  will — into  the  most 
savage  fight  since  the  seventeenth  century. 

On  that  issue  I  am  content  to  fight  for  five,  ten,  or 
twenty  years. 

If  the  Catholics  desert,  we — the  Church  of  England — 
shall  fight  for  our  own  hand.  But  we  shall  not  begin  tx> 
do  so,  or  even  talk  about  it,  until,  and  unless,  the  Catholics 
make  a  separate  peace.  I  do  not,  for  a  moment,  impute 
that  to  them.  In  any  case  we  shall  fight ;  with  them  for 
choice ;  without  them  if  it  must  be  so.  And  it 's  going 
to  be  the  biggest  fight  since  1640. — Yours  ever, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

581 

To  his  Father 

HEWEIX  GRANGE, 
REDDITCH,  April  2Ist,  1906. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  should  like  to  keep  the  parable 
on  Education  for  the  present. 

There  is  much  in  the  suggestion  that,  if  the  Religious 
stimulus — or  '  animus  ' — be  withdrawn,  little  enthusiasm 
for  pure  knowledge  will  be  left. 

I  enjoyed  myself  immensely  at  Clouds. 

I  am  spending  a  quiet  Sunday  here.  I  have  to  speak 
against  the  Education  Bill  twice  in  the  Albert  Hall,  on 
May  2nd  for  the  Primrose  League,  and  May  llth,  at  a 
Mass  Meeting  of  the  diocese  of  London. 

This  controversy  will  absorb  all  others  for  a  year. — 
Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

582 
To  Wilfrid  Ward 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

April  24M,  1906. 

MY  DEAR  WILFRID, — Many  thanks  for  letting  me  see 
the  Bishop's  letter.  I  am  relieved  to  hear  that  there  is  a 
good  chance  of  the  Irish  Party  fighting  the  Education 
Bill.  I  am  bracing  myself  for  the  battle.  I  feel  that 

r 


TO  WILFRID  WARD  185 

this  has  come  to  me ;  I  did  not  seek  it  and  now  I  rejoice 
over  my  resignation  of  last  year.  It  has  given  me  the 
right  to  be  myself.  I  explained  to  A.  J.  B.  the  night 
before  the  Session  began  that,  on  this  question  I  should 
fight  '  in  front  of  the  line  ' ;  and  now  I  have  got  to  do  so. 
I  have  been  asked  to  move  the  Resolution  against  the 
Bill  at  the  annual  gathering  of  the  Primrose  League  in 
the  Albert  Hall  on  May  2nd,  and  also  asked  to  speak  on 
May  llth  by  our  Bishop  of  London. 

I  accept  your  reproach  on  my  Synthetic  1  lapses.  I  do 
mean  to  attend  in  future.  But  May  3rd  was  booked  for 
Dover  just  after  the  Election. 

All  this  is  by  the  way.  I  write  to-day  because  I  must. 
I  have  not  finished  '  Out  of  due  Time,' 2  but  I  want  to  say 
now  that  I  am  deeply  interested,  and  even  excited ;  it  is 
far  away  better  than  '  One  Poor  Scruple  '  and  '  The  Light 
Behind.'  It  is  a  book  with  a  life  before  it. 

Of  course  the  '  ingredients '  arrest  my  fancy ;  the 
picture  of  Derwent  is  wonderful.  I  sometimes  see  that 
this  or  that  model — including  yourself — has  sat  for  some 
of  the  characters.  But  where  did  the  Count  come  from  ? 
I  have  never  met  anyone  like  him,  and  yet  I  feel  that  he 
is  real ;  certainly  real  in  the  impression  which  he  leaves 
on  those  who  know  him.  Marcelle  is  astonishingly  good. 
Where  did  her  French  thought  in  English  language  come 
from? 

I  shall  write  again  of  this  at  length.  Quite  apart  from 
the  stage,  the  characters,  the  play  and  the  purpose — all 
good — the  Art  of  it  all  is  good.  Scores  of  touches  delight 
me  by  their  clean  dexterity.  I  rejoice  and  lay  my  warm 
and  profound  respect  at  the  feet  of  the  author. — Yours 
ever,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

1  George  Wyndham  was  one   of  the  group  of  persons   interested  in   the 
philosophy  of  religion,  who  in  1896  founded  the  Synthetic  Society.    Mr.  "Wilfrid 
Ward  and  he  were  for  a  time  its  honorary  secretaries,  and  among  their  colleagues 
were  Mr.  Arthur  Balfour ;  the  present  Lord  Haldane  ;  Mr.  Henry  Sidgwick  j 
Dr.  Talbot,  now  Bishop  of  Winchester ;  Father  Tyrrell ;  Baron  von  Hiigel  ; 
Sir  Alfred  Lyall ;  and  Sir  Oliver  Lodge,  as  well  as  two  veterans  who  had 
helped  to  found  the  old  Metaphysical  Society  in  1869,  namely,  R.  H.  Hutton 
and  Dr.  Martineau.     See  Men  and  Matters,  by  Wilfrid  Ward. 

2  A  novel  by  Mrs.  Wilfrid  Ward. 


186          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

583 

To  G.  K.  Chesterton 
Private. 

35  PARK  LANE, 
April  27th,  1906. 

DEAR  MR.  CHESTERTON, — My  excuse  for  writing  is  that 
I  had  the  pleasure  of  meeting  you  at  Taplow  last  summer, 
but  my  reason  is  to  thank  you  for  your  letter  in  yester- 
day's *  Westminster  Gazette.'  The  many  who  are  grateful 
will  not  think  of  thanks,  or  dare  to  give  them.  But  I 
feel  constrained  to  say  my  thanks. 

After  four  hundred  years  of  battle,  always  with  brains 
and  sometimes  with  swords,  it  is  a  nightmare  to  watch 
the  Holy  Catholic  Church  being  huddled  off  the  stage  of 
history  and  hope. 

The  people  do  not  mean  this,  or  understand  it.  I  can't 
say  it  because  I  have  not  the  gift  of  simple  speech  and,  if 
I  could  say  it,  nobody  would  believe  a  Tory.  Yet,  for 
all  I  care,  we  may  have  Socialism  to-morrow  if  future 
generations  may  still  believe  in  the  Divine  Society  here 
upon  earth. 

However  ...  I  only  want  to  thank  you  as  one,  I 
think,  of  many  who  could  not  believe  in  Christianity  until 
they  grasped  the  idea  of  the  Church. — Yours  truly, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

P.S. — Please  do  not  trouble  to  acknowledge. 

584 
To  Wilfrid  Ward 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
May  2nd,  1906. 

MY  DEAR  WILFRID, — Your  letter  gave  me  real  pleasure. 
I_am  not  greedy  of  applause  but,  as  I  once  wrote  in  verse 

'  After  the  thrill 
Of  onset  every  wind  strikes  chill.' 

Even  if  I  discount  your  friendship  and  keenness  in  the 


TO  WILFRID  WARD  187 

cause,  you  would  not  have  written  as  you  did  unless  my 
speech  had  *  reached  '  you. 

It  is  a  great  tax  to  speak  in  that  Hall.1  Two  ladies 
who  were  there  to-day  told  me  that  the  echo  made  Balfour 
hard  to  follow  and  that  it  was  a  strain  to  hear  me.  One 
has  to  discard  most  of  a  speaker's  devices.  No  one  can 
see  the  speaker's  expression  and — if  they  have  to  listen 
intently — no  one  can  be  affected  by  inflections  of  the 
voice. 

So  the  speaker  has  to  ami  at  broad,  simple,  effects. 
But  that  entails  severe  mental  concentration  and,  all 
the  time,  there  is  a  dead  weight  to  be  lifted  without  much 
help  from  the  audience.  Nobody  could  speak  to  a  hostile 
audience  in  that  arena.  To  say  that,  is  to  say  that  a 
speaker  has  to  discard  his  principal  function  i.e  '  pleading.'' 
He  must  declaim  and  declare,  i.e.  physically  make  striking, 
and,  mentally,  make  simple,  what  everybody  is  prepared 
to  admit. 

And  yet,  I  agree  with  you  about  the  concourse.  The 
facts  that  so  many  people  have  come  from  so  many  places 
to  be  in  one  place  for  one  purpose,  make  one  great  fact — 
of  sense,  and  thought,  and  feeling. 

The  ingredients  make  the  magic  broth.  The  speaker 
has  but  to  stir  it  with  a  big  wooden  spoon. 

A  demain  !  I  like  your  enclosure.  If  only  the  Catholics 
hold  firm  I — moi  qui  vous  parle — will  answer — with  my 
head — for  the  Anglicans. — Yours  ever, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 


585 
To  Wilfrid  Ward 

WESTON, 

SHIFNAL,  May  13th,  1906. 

MY  DEAR  WILFRID, — I  return  the  proof,  with  these 
observations. 

I  prefer  my  own  punctuation.    The  first  three  quatrains 

1  The  Albert  Hall. 


188         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

are,  really,  one  sentence  ;  though  a  long  one.  The  effec- 
tive verb  is  not  reached  till  we  get  to  '  yields  '  in  the  tenth 
line. 

This  applies  even  more  forcibly  to  the  elimination  of  a 
full-stop  and  substitution  of  a  colon  after  '  immensities.* 
'  Their  love  '  is  the  nominative  of  *  seems  '  five  lines  lower 
down.  If  cut  off  by  a  full-stop  no  one  will  find  it. 

My  only  correction  of  substance  is  to  omit  the  sixth 
stanza  beginning  '  And  this  their  close  reality.' 

I  propose  the  omission  for  these  reasons  : — 

(1)  A  set  of  verses — like  a  speech — gains  by  excision. 

(2)  '  Reality  '  and  '  immortality  '  are  not  good  English 
rhymes.     They  are  good  French  rhymes  and  were  used, 
no  doubt,  under  the  influence  of  French  poetry. 

(3)  The  next  stanza  does  the  '  business  '  more  poetically. 

(4)  The  total  number  of  quatrains,  without  the  omission, 
is  13,  an  unlucky  and  awkward  number. 

(5)  With  the  omission  the  twelve  quatrains  fall  into 
three  symmetrical  groups  of  four  each. 

The  first  four  introduce  the  subject  and  strike  a  note  of 
death. 

The  second  four  dwell  on  the  walls  and  books  with  two 
for  each. 

The  last  four  give  the  upward  movement  to  life,  per- 
sisting after  life. 

Symmetry  is  an  antiseptic,  like  style. 

I  am  sure  I  am  right. — Yours  ever, 

GEOKGE  WYNDHAM. 

P.S. — I  must  stick  to  initials  '  G.  W.'  I  cannot  afford 
to  show  a  target  when  so  many  are  firing  at  me  as  the 
opponent  of  the  Education  Bill. 


IN  A  LIBRARY 

Long  rows  of  books  in  figured  backs 
Of  gleaming  leather,  dimly  lit ; 

A  ticking  clock,  whose  soft  attacks 
Upon  the  silence  deepen  it ; 


TO  WILFRID  WARD  189 

No  other  sound  in  all  the  house 

But  the  low  fluttering  of  the  fire ; 
To  stab  the  stillness  and  arouse 

The  ghosts  of  anger  or  desire  : 

Within  the  warmth  of  these  four  walls 

Yields  warrant,  then,  for  quiet  mirth ; 
Without,  the  chasm  of  night  appals, 

The  full  moon  grins  upon  the  earth. 

Her  frozen  signal  of  decay, 

As  a  dead  tree  in  summer,  tells 
That  the  whole  universe  one  day 

Shall  speak  of  death  and  nothing  else. 

And  all  who  wrote  these  books  are  dead, 

Yet  of  their  laughter  and  their  tears 
We  are  not  disinherited ; 

These  walls  have  stood  six  hundred  years. 

Ancestral  legends  lichening 

The  parapets  of  long  ago 
Enchant  them  with  strange  dreams  that  sing 

Of  deeds  our  childhood  seemed  to  know. 

And  from  these  books  departed  souls 

Shoot  out  their  radiance  into  mine, 
As  heat,  incarcerate  in  coals, 

From  suns  that  ceased  long  since  to  shine. 

Nor  may  I  well  believe  that  thus 

In  brute  appliances  alone, 
Such  souls  communicate  with  us 

From  darkness,  whither  they  are  gone. 

But,  as  the  virtue  of  a  star 

Thrills  through  the  ether  to  our  eyes, 
Their  love,  vibrating  from  afar, 

Pierces  our  night's  immensities ; 

And  here,  where  ancient  wit  and  worth 

Have  still  so  much  of  life  to  tell, 
Like  blinder  forces  of  the  earth, 

Seems  also  indestructible. 


190         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

I  feel  their  souls  without  a  sound 

Growing  and  glowing  nigh  and  nigher 

Within  the  shadows  closing  round 
The  somnolencies  of  the  fire : 

Until,  possessed  by  memories 

Of  men  who  conquered  lust  and  strife, 

I  am  persuaded  that  there  is 
A  life  persisting  after  life. 

G.  W. 


586 
To  his  Mother 

WESTON, 
SHIFNAL,  May  15th,  1906. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — Fancy  my  not  having  written 
to  you,  Beloved,  till  to-day.  I  meant  to  write  in  the  House 
directly  after  speaking  last  Monday,  as  if  I  was  making 
notes.  But  the  whole  week  has  been  a  rush  and  rather 
a  burden,  what  with  Railway  Meetings,  prize  to  Ambu- 
lance corps  and  speech,  to  Dover  and  speech,  to  Albert 
Hall  and  speech.  I  should  like  '  to  come  to  old  Khayam 
and  leave  the  wise  to  talk '  if — as  I  said  to  C.  G.  Gould 
'  it  is  the  wise  who  talk.'  I  always  doubt  that  after 
speaking  myself. 

We  are  here  very  quiet  and  happy  with  Ida  and  New- 
port, Aldred  and  Celia  Scarborough,  for  Sunday.  The 
house,  spoilt  outside  by  stucco,  is  very  pleasant  inside 
with  plenty  of  good  books  and  bad  pictures  that  are,  all  the 
same,  interesting  and  amusing.  There  are  six  delightful 
little  hunting  pictures  by  Morland.  These  are  good  and 
more  interesting  too  than  his  pigs  and  straw-yards. 

It  was  naughty  of  you  to  put  out  your  shoulder !  I 
have  been  thinking  of  you  all  the  week.  I  have  to  speak 
at  Chester  Thursday  and  mean  to  rest  at  Saighton  till 
Monday  after  and  then  we  shall  soon  be  at  Whitsun, 
with  Yeomanry  for  a  change  of  thought  and  scene.  I 
am  longing  for  you  to  be  in  London. — Your  most  loving 
son,  GEORGE. 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  191 

587 
To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

35  PARK  LANE, 
16th  May  '06. 

DARLING  PAMELO, — It  was  delicious  to  see  your  hand- 
writing after  fourth  son.  I  have  been  trying  to  write  to 
you  often,  but  I  am  rather  overworked  just  now. 

Indeed  I  will  asterisk  16th  and  23rd  of  June.  I  never 
mind  crystallizing  for  the  very  very  few  whom  I  love  to 
be  with.  Apart  from  the  positive  merit,  there  is  the 
negative  merit  of  filling  up  one's  book,  so  that  one  can 
say  *  no '  to  the  rest  of  the  world,  without  rudeness  or 
deceit.  I  shall  need  the  water-meadows  badly  by  then, 
for  this  Education  Bill  is  going  to  be  a  severe  strain. 

Ronsard  has  come  complete  in  pages,  and  looks  very 
nice.  Pp.  1-60,  Introduction  ;  61-192,  French  ;  193-254, 
my  translations.  I  call  it  RONSARD'S  LA  PLEIADE  with 
selections  from  their  Poetry  and  some  translations  in 
the  original  metre  by  George  Wyndham. 

Sibell  and  self  are  off  to  Chester  to-morrow  at  8.30,  to 
speak  at  2  p.m.  Then  I  shall  rest  till  Monday,  correct- 
ing proofs. 

It  is  delicious  to  think  of  my  June  Sunday  with  you. 
I  like  my  fellow-guests.  I  hope  Ronsard  will  be  printed 
in  time.  I  hate  Politics. — Ever  your  devoted  brother, 

GEORGE. 

588 
To  his  Mother 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  May  18th,  1906. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — Supposing  S.  S.  thought  of 
letting  35  Park  Lane,  would  you  and  Papa  like  me  to 
come  to  44  and  would  it  be  quite  convenient  ?  It  is  not 
at  all  important  and  you  must  not  give  it  a  thought 
unless  it  is  really  quite  convenient  in  every  way  to  you 
all.  Sibell  is  offered  a  good  deal  for  the  House  and  will 
be  away  herself  most  of  the  time  with  Leffie. 


192         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

I  am  concentrating  on  the  Education  Bill.  If  it  really 
suited  I  should  come  about  Monday,  llth  June. 

We  came  here  yesterday  by  8.30  to  Chester  ;  had  some 
lunch  at  the  Grosvenor  Hotel  and  then  a  meeting  at 
2  o'clock.  I  went  to  sleep  in  the  carriage  driving  back 
after  the  Meeting  and  have  been  sleeping  most  of  the  tune 
since  then.  The  Yeomanry  will  be  a  pleasant  change 
from  politics. 

I  am  longing  to  see  you  and  will  look  in  on  Monday. 
Would  you  like  me  to  dine  if  I  can  get  away  ?  The  new 
rules  will  be  very  severe  during  the  Committee  stage,  four 
to  eleven  o'clock  on  end  without  a  break.  But  I 
daresay  it  will  be  possible  to  slip  out  to  dinner  for  a  bite 
and  sup  occasionally. 

The  birds  are  singing  here  and  the  wall  a  blaze  of  Alpine 
plants  and  saxifrage. — Your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

P.S. — Ronsard  looks  very  nice  in  pages. 

589 
To  his  Mother 

SAIGHTON, 
May  20th,  1906. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  love  the  thought  of  coming 
to  *  44  '  and,  really,  prefer  the  room  upstairs. 

I  have  had  a  little  chill  and  stayed  in  bed  yesterday  but 
am  up  again  and  shall  be  fit  for  the  fray  which  begins 
to-morrow. 

Guy  has  written  me  a  capital,  cheery,  letter.  He  is 
going  to  Madrid  for  the  wedding.  General  French  unveils 
the  memorial  to  the  16th  in  Canterbury  Cathedral  on 
Saturday,  June  30th,  and  the  16th  are  going  to  Aldershot 
in  October.  All  this  pleases  me.  Guy  and  his  regiment 
are  buried  at  Colchester. 

Don't  count  on  me  to-morrow.  It  may  be  best  for 
me  to  keep  in  the  house  once  I  get  there,  until  I  have 
quite  shaken  off  my  chill. — Your  devoted  and  most 
loving  son,  GEORGE. 


TO  MRS.  DREW  193 

590 

To  Wilfrid  Scawen  Blunt 

HOUSE  OF  COMMONS, 
13th  June  '06. 

MY  DEAR  WILFRID, — I  am  sorry  to  say  that  I  cannot 
get  to  you  on  Saturday.  Sibell  is  staying  at  Putney  with 
Lettice,  who  expects  her  baby  to-morrow,  and,  as  we  have 
been  separated  for  3  weeks  over  Yeomanry,  she  wishes 
me  to  go  there  for  Sunday. 

Would  the  30th  June  do  ?  I  go  to  Canterbury  that  day 
to  see  the  memorial  to  Guy's  regiment,  16th  Lancers,  un- 
veiled, and  could  come  on,  either  across  country,  or  back  by 
special  train  to  Victoria  and  on  to  you  on  Saturday  evening. 

I  must  send  you  a  copy  of  Guy's  excellent  letter  about 
the  Madrid  bomb.1  He  was  on  the  spot,  helped  the 
Queen,  and  made  her  courtly  speeches. — Yours  affec- 
tionately, GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

591 

To  Mrs.  Drew 

BELGRAVE  SQUARE, 
June  28th,  1906. 

I  THINK  I  can  undertake  to.do  what  you  ask  in  September, 
and  gladly,  because  you  ask  it. 

A  better  Clause  4,2  applicable  to  the  future  :  teachers 
to  teach,  and  equal  facilities  all  round,  is  the  irreducible 
minimum  without  which  there  cannot  be  peace. 

I  hope  to  bring  Hugh  Cecil  to  Saighton  directly  after 
the  Session,  so  please  be  at  Hawarden  first  and  second 
weeks  in  August.  We  will  ride  over  to  see  you  with 
Percy,  and  you  shall,  will  and  must  come  to  stay. 

The  idea  is  a  few  Churchmen  (very  few),  say  Master- 
man  and  Gore — some  '  bloods  '  for  Percy — ponies — 
horses — books — and  conversation — flowers  and  trees. 

1  The  bomb  thrown  by  the  anarchist  Morales  at  the  carriage  of  the  King  and 
Queen  of  Spain  on  the  way  from  the  Cathedral  to  the  Palace  after  the  wedding 
ceremony.  The  King  of  Spain  was  colonel-in-chief  of  his  brother's  regiment 
the  i6th  (the  Queen's)  Lancers.  a  Of  the  Education  Bill. 

VOL.  II.  N 


194         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

592 
To  Mrs.  Drew 

BELORAVE  SQUARE, 
June  29th,  1906. 

WHAT  a  blow  !  But  in  September  we  will  oscillate 
between  Hawarden  and  Saighton. 

I  wish  I  knew  what  the  Lords  will  do.  I  fear  Devon- 
shire and  others.  I  am  therefore  certain  that  we  ought 
to  keep  on  insisting  on  the  just  solution  and  do  nothing 
to  complicate  the  approach  towards  it.  But  all  this 
takes  time  to  explain,  and  I  am  sleepy  after  a  long  but 
deeply  interesting  day  at  Canterbury  that  stirred  my  heart. 

General  French  unveiled  a  monument  to  those  of  my 
brother's  regiment,  the  16th  Lancers,  who  died  in  S.  Africa. 

The  Cathedral,  a  perfect  service,  with,  at  appropriate 
moments,  the  '  Last  Post '  and  the  '  Reveille  '  on  trumpets, 
and  nothing  else  of  the  pomp  of  war,  assured  me  of  how 
right  it  is  to  fight  for  the  Church. 

I  want  your  three  Angels  for  Bruera.  Do  send  their 
names  to  Sibell. 

593 

To  his  Father 

SAIGHTON, 
August  9th,  1906. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  enjoyed  your  interesting  letter. 
Percy  is  very  good  at  polo.  The  three  Millers,  who  are 
at  the  top  of  the  polo  tree,  want  him  to  stay  with  them 
for  a  fortnight's  tuition.  I  shall  give  him  your  message. 
I  am  very  fairly  confident  that  all  he  wants  is  to  go  into 
a  cavalry  regiment,  play  polo  and  hunt. 

I  have  ordered  what  you  want  from  the  Vote  Office. 

I  send  Friday's  programme  of  the  Polo  Tournament. 
Percy's  team — not  in  this  programme — won  the  Consola- 
tion Handicap  on  Saturday. 

I  have  entered  in  ink  the  final  result  of  the  Ladies' 
Nomination  Tournament.  In  this  kind  of  tournament 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  195 

each  of  the  five  teams  plays  the  other  four  in  turn  and  the 
team  which  has  at  the  end  the  greatest  nett  number  of 
goals  i.e.  goals  won,  minus  goals  lost,  wins.  By  this 
means  the  excitement  in  every  match  is  maintained  to 
the  end. 

The  feature  of  the  whole  business  was  Percy,  as  number 
1  of  his  team,  tackling  John  Watson  (Master  of  Meath) 
as  back.  They  are  great  friends. 

The  final  of  the  Eaton  Cup,  won  by  Eaton  v.  Tatten- 
Hall  by  six  to  four,  was  a  magnificent  display. 

Besides  polo,  we  hunted  two  mornings  with  beagles 
and  had  a  Gymkhana  on  another. 

My  Harbour  difficulties  are  adjourned  till  the  House 
meets  again.  So  I  am  resting.  For  example  I  definitely 
refused  to  take  part  in  the  East  Denbigh  contest  hard  by. 
Hugh  Cecil  went  from  here  to  speak — and  spoke  very 
well — last  night  in  a  motor  with  Sibell,  who  is  quite  a 
politician  now. 

This  week  I  do  nothing  but  lazy  summer  rides  with 
Hugh  Cecil,  and  talk  about  books  and  politics. 

I  shall  probably  look  in  at  Clouds  in  the  course  of  the 
next  two  or  three  weeks,  with  a  horse  and  inspect  the 
Hunkerman's  *  regiment  on  the  plain. 

Best  love  to  Mamma  and  Ditch. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 


594 

To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

SAIGHTON, 
3rd  September  1906. 

BELOVED  PAM, — I  have  felt  very  mischievous  the  last 
few  days.  Some  of  my  friends,  and  sweet  enemies,  have 
been  punching  at  me  politically.  I  gasp  at  the  torrid 
exuberance  of  their  controversial  methods,  which  remind 
me  of  an  old  French  farce,  called  '  90°  in  the  Shade.'  It 
seems  that  I  am  a  political  salamander.  But  when  my 
friends  cast  me  for  that  part,  as  if  each  were  a  Benvenuto 

1  His  brother. 


196          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

Cellini  (see  autobiography)  I  feel  mischievous.  I  give 
them  the  private  retort  courteous,  await  events,  and  burst 
into  the  fantastic  for  my  own  behoof. — Your  devoted 
brother,  GEORGE. 

595 

To  his  Mother 

WILSFOBD  MANOR, 
SALISBURY,  September  12th,  1906. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — Yes,  it  was  a  pity  just  to 
miss  on  Monday,  but  I  shall  be  with  you  before  this  time 
next  week. 

The  life  here  is  delightful.  I  breakfast  with  Guy  at 
7.30,  start  '  riding  horsebag  '  at  8.15.'  pick  up  the  regi- 
ment beyond  '  the  stones  ' x  at  9  o'clock ;  play  at  soldiers 
for  two  hours  or  more,  and  then  ride  home  across  the 
downs ;  in  at  noon.  Yesterday  we  did  three  '  attacks/ 
In  the  afternoon  there  is  the  river.  In  the  evening  we 
rode  again,  hunting  the  hare.  We  had  a  fine  course  with 
Annie  and  Welcome  and  killed.  For  the  rest  the  only 
book  I  am  reading  is  Pickwick  and  all  is  Peace  .  .  .  pour 
le  moment !  but  not,  I  imagine  for  long  [Long].2  This 
turns  out  to  be  a  joke  ! 

I  am  glad  you  liked  what  I  said  at  Birmingham. — Ever 
your  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

596 

To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

SAIGHTON, 
16th  September  1906. 

BELOVED  PAMELO, — Wilsford  was  delicious.  That  bit, 
or  slip,  of  the  river-valley  and  down,  and  the  wideness  of 
sky  and  earth  it  commands,  is  a  bit,  or  slip,  of  my  larger 
dream-life.  It  plucks  at  my  own  heart-strings !  A 
sudden  intimate  aspect  of  loose  hedge-rows,  a  keen, 
known,  smell  of  chalk-dust  and  sheep,  the  little  triangle 
of  grass  and  trees  where  we  branch  from  Amesbury  to 

1  Stonehenge.  2  Mr.  Walter  Long. 


TO  MORETON  FREWEN  197 

Wilsford,  the  *  stones.'  Fargo  ;  x  ...  all  these  are 
eternal  to  me.  I  find  that  I  am  the  same  person  who 
rode  there  thirty  years  ago.  They  have  not  changed  and 
I  have  not  changed.  And  what  they  were  30  years  ago, 
they  were  60  years  before  that.  And  so  was  I,  600  years 
before  that.  Therefore,  I  give  to  you  eternal  Me. 

I  made  a  little  tune  to  my  song,  in  the  mode  of  600,  or 
6000,  years  ago.  The  little  air  of  it  tries  to  sing  how  every 
day  is  new,  and,  at  the  same  time,  a  day  of  the  days. 

Perf  and  I  had  a  great  day  to-day ;  we  rode  at  7.15 
for  two  hours  and  have  been  together  all  day.  He  is 
just  beginning  to  love  Poetry.  Imagine  my  delight  at 
recognizing  another  aspect  of  eternity  in  heritage.  We 
have  pretty  well  gutted  Keats  to-day,  all  the  Odes  and 
*  St.  Agnes  Eve,'  with  a  plenty  of  soldiering  talk,  and 
riding  talk,  and  political  talk,  thrown  in,  to  throw  up  the 
supremacy  of  the  fantastic. 

That  is  the  river  of  life  ;  the  surface  that  reflects  Heaven 
and  derived  from  far  sources  in  the  hills,  and  goes  out  at  last 
to  sea,  to  foregather  again  and  reflect  Heaven  once  more. 
The  drudgery  of  turning  the  mill,  the  party-political 
mill,  of  hatred,  malice  and  all  uncharitableness  is  but  an 
incident.  So,  '  Heyday  !  and  grey  day.  But  every  day 
is  new  '  and  yet,  thank  God,  as  old  as  the  hills,  and  secure 
as  the  stars. 

Send  me  back  my  little  barbaric  air. — Your  devoted 
brother,  GEORGE. 

597 

To  Moreton  Frewen 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

September  27th,  1906. 

MY  DEAR  MORETON,  2 — Your  letter  gave  me  real  plea- 
sure. Not  that  I  needed  any  evidence  of  your  friendship  ; 

1  Name  of  a  wood  near  Stonehenge. 

2  When  forwarding  this  letter  Mr.  Moreton  Frewen  wrote  in  explanation : 
'  I  had  got  George  to  lunch  at  Tim's  house  to  discuss  '  Devolution '   (which 
seems  destined  to  invade  history  as  the  'Wyndham  Policy'),  but  George  would 
not  have  it  at  any  price.      When  the  Orange  party  and  the  'Times'  made  the 
fuss  I  offered  to  write  and  get  Tim  to  write  and  say  so— hence  the  reply.' 


198         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

but  because  there  are  times  when  it  does  one  good  to  hear 
from  a  friend  who  is  not  too  much  engrossed  in  the  spec- 
tacle of  politics  to  realise  that  some  of  the  actors  in  that 
4  National  pastime '  are  fighting  for  things  that  are 
precious  to  them. 

I  have  always  thought  '  Devolution '  a  vague,  and 
therefore  foolish,  name  for  an  unworkable,  and  therefore 
silly,  thing ;  upon  which  no  two  Irishmen  would  ever 
agree. 

I  have  often  said  so,  and  never  said  anything  else.  You. 
remind  me  that  I  said  so  to  you. 

It  would  interest  me  if  you  can  remember  when  I  said  it. 

As  for  writing  to  the  Press,  I  am  disposed  to  think  that 
anybody,  who  knows  me  and  does  not  believe  me,  will  not 
believe  *  though  one  rose  from  the  dead.' 

You  would  only  get  damned  for  your  pains.  I  should 
be  damned  by  the  '  Times '  for  meeting  Tim,  and  Tim- 
damned  by  the  '  Freeman  '  for  meeting  me. 

To  all  this  I  am  impervious,  nothing  would  please  me 
more  than  to  walk  arm-in-arm  with  Tim  Healy  in  front 
of  *  Printing  House  Square.'  He  was  *  human '  to  a 
Chief  Secretary — and  that  is  rare.  I  shall  never  forget 
it. — Yours  ever,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

598 

To  Ms  Mother 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

September  28th,  1906. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  was  very  happy  at  Clouds 
and  am  glad  I  talked  to  Papa.  I  felt  from  the  way 
you  all  spoiled  me  that  you  thoroughly  understood  the 
situation. 

I  dined  alone  at  the  Travellers',  went  to  bed  at  11  o'clock 
and  slept  for  9|  hours  like  a  stone  at  the  bottom  of  a  deep 
well.  I  did  not  know  where  I  was  when  I  woke  ;  or  why 
I  was  here  when  I  recognized  the  room. 

I  hope  to  make  a  good  speech  out  of  my  refreshment. 
I  enclose  a  cutting  or  two  about  my  Hawarden  speech. 


TO  RUDYARD  KIPLING  199 

Give  a  great  deal  of  love  to  Ditchmouse.  I  was  very 
sorry  to  miss  her. 

A  certain  number  of  people  are  beginning  to  go  out  of 
their  way  to  please  me ;  writing  me  letters  and  so  forth. 
Among  them  Colin  Campbell  [a  cousin]  sent  me  a  dear 
letter  with  a  copy  of  the  earliest  picture  of  Lord  Edward  1 
and  a  good  quotation  from  Walt  Whitman, 

'Me  Imperturbe  .  .  . 
.  .  .  Aplomb  in  the  midst  of 

irrational  things  .  .  . 
Me  wherever  my  life  is  lived, 
O  to  be  self-balanced  for  contingencies, 
To  confront  night,  storms,  hunger, 

ridicule,  accidents,  rebuffs, 
As  the  Trees  and  Animals  do.' 

I  am  all  for  the  Animals  but,  as  I  pointed  out  in  my  reply, 
they  have  not  to  make  a  speech  at  Canterbury  to-night, 
and  I  have.  So  here  goes  !  All  love  to  you  darling,  and 
to  Papa. — Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 


599 

To  Rudyard  Kipling 


SAIGHTON, 
5th  October  1906. 


MY  DEAR  KIPLING, — Last  night,  on  finishing  '  Puck 
of  Pook's  Hill ' — with  sharp  regret,  because  I  shall  never 
read  it  again  for  the  first  time,  and  huge  delight  because 
so  many  will  have  that  joy — I  felt  that  I  must  say  '  Thank 
you.' 

This  morning,  out  cub-hunting,  I  felt  that  I  was  a  cub 
for  presuming  to  distinguish  myself  from  the  dear  many 
who  never  say  '  Thank  you.'  But,  remembering  some 
talks  at  Rottingdean,  and  your  father,  and  your  uncle, 
I  will  say  '  Thank  you.' 

I  thank  you  for  every  page  of  it.  I  thank  you,  specially, 
for  C.  Aquila,  Maximus,  and  '  one  man's  work.'  I  thank 

1  Lord  Edward  Fitzgerald,  great-grandfather  of  George  Wyndham. 


200         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

you,  above  all,  for  Maximus.  I  read  my  Gibbon  again 
this  afternoon,  and  measured  the  amount  of  your  creation. 
It  is  stupendous.  Knowing  Maximus  intimately,  as  I 
do — since  yesterday — I  may  say  that  he  will  not  thank 
you  when  you  meet  him  in  the  Elysian  fields. 

But  I  thank  you  most  for  him.  I  am  not  unmindful 
of  THE  WALL,  and  the  snake  along  the  Wall ;  nor  un- 
grateful to  you  for  declaring — better  than  it  has  been 
shown  before — how  that  the  sun  really  rose,  every  day, 
at  the  usual  hour,  in  the  4th,  and  llth,  centuries  just  as 
he  does  in  the  20th  century.  And  he  knows  how  to  rise. 
Such  is  his  Conservatism. 

I  always  knew  that  and,  also,  that  men  and  women 
and  children,  who  lived  from  one  to  ten  thousand  years 
ago,  were  as  like  men  and  women  and  children  of  to-day 
as  any  million  peas,  or  two  suns.  But  you  can  shew  this, 
and  we  can't.  That  is  much — genius  and  so  forth.  The 
two  officers  in  charge  of  The  Wall,  and  Maximus,  and 
the  Rescue,  are  more. 

That  parable  tells  the  men  and  women  and  children 
what  they  have  got  to  do  in  the  everlasting  sunlight, 
and,  even,  why  they  have  got  to  do  it.  They  may  now 
understand  that  the  world  rots  in  everlasting  sunlight ; 
and  that  they  must  delay  the  rot,  year  in  and  year  out, 
on  the  chance  that,  once  in  100  years,  a  saviour,  and  once 
in  500  years,  a  creator,  may — or  may  not — appear.  That 
is  their  glory.  Your  glory  is  that  you  have  told  them 
so  ! 

600 
To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

SAIGHTON, 
6th  October  1906. 

BELOVED  PAM, — I  got  back  to  Saighton  late  last  night 
after  a  month's  racket,  more  or  less,  and  am  alone  in  my 
tower ;  and  alone  in  many  ways.  When  one  is  alone, 
all  the  other  lonely  people  begin  to  talk.  The  Psalmist, 
shouting  out  against  his  enemies  in  the  night,  becomes  a 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  201 

pal.  And  everything  that  has  been  said  well  becomes  a 
masonic  grip  of  secret  fraternity.  I  read  '  Puck  of  Pook's 
Hill '  yesterday,  and  I  will  be  bound  to  say  that  nobody 
has  enjoyed  it,  or  will  ever  enjoy  it,  more  than  I  did.  It 
will — I  daresay — strike  you  from  the  children,  governess, 
tea-time,  fairy-tale  point  of  view.  And,  quite  possibly, 
you  will  feel  that,  from  that  point  of  view,  you  know  a 
great  deal  more  than  Rudyard  Kipling.  But  anyway 
that  is  only  the  envelope  of  his  letter.  His  letter — what 
he  meant — was  written  to  me.  Because  I  am  alone  in  my 
Tower.  So  I  thanked  him. 

Few  of  the  lonely  ones,  who  confabulate,  have  ever 
understood  better  all  the  time,  and  shewn  better  some 
of  the  time,  than  Browning  ;  for  example,  this  is  all  that 
I  could  wish  to  hear  about  my  work  in  Ireland — and 
afterwards  .  .  . 

'  So  with  this  thought  of  yours  that  fain  would  work 
Free  in  the  world  :  it  wants  just  what  it  finds — 
The  ignorance,  stupidity,  the  hate, 
Envy  and  malice  and  uncharitableness 
That  bar  your  passage,  break  the  flow  of  you 
Down  from  those  happy  heights  where  many  a  cloud 
Combined  to  give  you  birth  and  bid  you  be 
The  roughest  of  rivers  :  on  you  glide 
Silverly  till  you  reach  the  summit-edge, 
Then  over,  on  to  all  that  ignorance, 
Stupidity,  hate,  envy,  bluffs  and  blocks, 
Posted  to  fret  you  into  form  and  noise. 
What  of  it  ?     Up  you  mount  in  minute  mist, 
And  bridge  the  chasm  that  crushed  your  quietude, 
A  spirit-rainbow,  earthborn  jewelry 
Outsparkling  the  insipid  firmament, 
Blue  above  Terni  and  its  orange-trees.' 

All  I  could  wish  to  hear ;  I  should  think  so  !  But  I  do 
hear  it  now  in  my  tower  and  know  it  is  far  more  than  I 
deserve.  But  that  is  the  way  of  the  lonely  people.  They 
are  generous.  Wasn't  it  jolly  of  Browning,  only  two 
pages  after  that,  to  tell  a  story  of  some  cognoscenti  who 
hid  all  the  group  of  the  Laocoon,  and  then  invited  the 


202          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

critics  to  say  what  his  agony  expressed.     Then  Browning 
— (I  feel  I  may  call  him  Robert) — says  this  : — 

'One— 

And  may  he  live  to  write  my  history — 
Only  One,  said  "  I  think  the  gesture  strives 
Against  an  obstacle  we  cannot  see."  ' 

No  more  room,  except  to  add  that  the  lonely  ones  are 
uncommon  good  company. — Your  devoted  brother, 

GEORGE. 


601 
To  Mrs.  Drew 


SAIGHTON, 

October  1906. 


DEAREST  MARY, — I  am  rather  jealous  of  Sibell  because 
you  were  here  when  I  was  not.  For  a  good  Patriot  and 
Imperialist,  prepared  to  hear  that  Portsmouth  has  been 
raided  by  Torpedo  Boats — German  for  choice — with 
comparative  equanimity,  perhaps  it  would  do  if  the 
Chairman  of  my  Banquet — an  ex-Lord  Mayor  who  looked 
the  part — shared  the  fate  of  the  Burgomaster  of  Kopenick. 
I  think  I  shall  subscribe  to  a  press-cutting  agency  in  the 
name  of  the  Burgomaster  of  Kopenick,  for  I  want  to  read, 
and  engross  in  an  Album,  all  about  him.  This  wholly 
delightful  event  adds  one  more  to  the  forty  good  stories 
which  have  been  told  since  the  Stone  Age.  And  it  is  fit 
for  ears  polite.  It  beats  the  thief  in  the  Rhamsonites  of 
Herodotus.  It  beats  the  Golden  Ass  of  Apuleius.  It 
beats  Don  Quixote,  it  beats  Banagher.  It  is  good  to  live 
when  such  things  happen. 

And  why  did  not  B.  J.  live  to  read  it  ?  But  I  can  feel 
him  laughing  and  rumpling  Morris'  hair,  and  hear  the 
4  Limerick  '  which  Rossetti  would  have  composed — perhaps 
not  fit  for  ears  polite. 

It  has  done  me  good,  as  the  ladies  say  in  advertisements 
of  Bile  Beans.  For  I  have  had  a  bother — not  of  my  own* 


TO  MRS.  DREW  203 

— lately  which  has  disposed  me  to  laugh  at  the  grotesque 
side  of  the  soldier  '  as  such.'  What  a  moral  it  conveys, 
never  to  do  what  you  are  told  to  do. 

I  hear  that  you  '  reneged  '  at  '  Puck  of  Pook's  Hill ' 
and  were,  more  or  less,  converted  by  Sibell's  report  of  my 
enthusiasm. 

I  broke  out  and  wrote  to  Rudyard  Kipling.  I  backed 
4  De  Aquila,'  but  I  plumped  for  '  Maximus '  and  '  The 
Wall.  So  I  was  pleased  when  R.  K.  wrote  back  a  *  Thank 
you  very  much  for  your  letter,  and  especially  for  what 
you  say  about  Maximus,  which  makes  me  proud  as  well 
as  pleased.  Yes — Gibbon  was  the  fat  heifer  I  ploughed 
with :  but  all  those  *  decline-and-fall '  officers  are  so 
amazingly  modern  that  as  soon  as  I  got  him  started  I 
went  on  as  easily  as  Mr.  Wegg  did  :  they  being  mellowing 
to  the  organ.  I  swear  I  didn't  mean  to  write  parables — 
much — but  when  situations  are  so  ludicrously,  or  terribly, 
parallel,  what  can  one  do  ?  * 

That  raises  a  question.  What  Rudyard  Kipling  does 
is  to  wrap  up  two  perfect  peep-shows  into  the  past — and 
therefore — into  all  time,  in  a  machinery  of  children  in 
Sussex  and  Puck  and  the  rest  of  it. 

This  nearly  stopped  me  and  did  stop  you,  for  a  time  : 
which  is  bad.  It  did  not  stop  the  reviewers.  But  it 
baffled  them  and  revealed  their — well — revealed  what 
they  are,  and,  specially,  how  many  people  they  are  not. 
But  this  *  machinery '  is  only  the  '  Walk  up '  of  the 
Showman,  his  '  Boniment,'  as  the  French  say.  It  isn't 
bad  boniment  either.  But  the  peep-shows  are  what  I 
see  all  the  time  (better  lighted  and  grouped  by  R.  K.) 
and  piercing  through  the  ages  with  that  flashing  main  of 
Eternity  which  is  the  Halcyon  home  of  all  those  sea -blue 
birds  of  the  Spring  who  keep  a  careless  heart  as  they  fly 
over  the  foam  flowers. 

Perhaps  you  will  feel  nothing  of  this.  And  then  you 
will  tell  me  so.  But  tell  me  whether  or  No.  And  then 
I  will  tell  you  what  I  wrote  to  Kipling. 

The  soldiers  who  arrested  the  Burgomaster  made  me 
think  of  De  Aquila  and  Maximus  :  R.  K.'s.  Mr.  Wegg 


204          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

leads  me  to  say  that  I  have  just  finished  reading  '  Little 
Dorrit '  again.  I  can't  bear  to  think  that  I  must  wait 
5  or  10  years — 5  if  greedy,  10  if  prudent,  before  reading 
it  yet  once  more. 

What  a  great  man  Dickens  is !  And  how  are  the 
4  Tite  Barnacles  '  avenged  by  the  Ulster  Party.  With 
what  avidity  the  '  Times  '  returns  to  the  vomit  of  the 
Circumlocution  Office.  How  readily  the  dear  stupid 
English  folk  believe  in  '  How  not  to  do  it.'  How  intensely 
they  suspect  and  hate  anybody  who  does  anything  or 
might  conceivably  do  anything,  arrogating  to  their  dear 
muddled  heads  and  dear  little  hearts  the  right  of  scolding 
everybody  because  nothing  is  done.  And  then  majestically 
assassinating  anybody  who  presumes  to  do  anything. 

This  they  call  '  common  sense.'  I  have  often  pondered 
on  the  linguistic  freak — or  revelation  ? — which  led  the 
Greeks  and  the  French  to  talk  of  '  good  sense '  and  the 
English  to  talk  of  '  common  sense.'  And  the  worst  of  it 
is  that  when,  now  and  again,  an  Englishman  is  sick  of 
*  common '  sense,  he  does  not  deviate  gracefully  into 
'  good  '  sense.  He  bursts  out  into  '  uncommon  nonsense  ' 
and  calls  it  paradox ;  as  a  protest  against  a  commercial 
education. 

But  this  is  our  Country.  And  I  love  it :  as  a  man  loves 
a  brutal  woman. — Yours  affectionately,  G.  W. 

P.S. — But  having  effected  a  '  judicial ' — on  my  part — 
4  separation '  from  my  country,  I  do  not  think  that  I 
would  ever  *  marry '  her  again  in  the  Registry  Office  of 
a  Cabinet.  I  do  not  seek  divorce  '  a  vinculis.'  But  I 
revel  in  separation  *  a  mensa  et  thoro.' 

602 

To  his  Mother 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  October  19th,  1906. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  thought  so  much  of  you  and 
Aunt  Emily,  first  in  your  anxiety,  and  then  in  your  relief 
over  dear  Uncle  Charlie. 


TO  MRS.  DREW  205 

Send  them  my  fond  love. 

Thank  Papa  for  cutting  on  *  compulsory  mathematics.' 

My  Portsmouth  Banquet  was  a  great  success.  I  spoke 
for  fifty-five  minutes. 

I  have  been  very  busy  of  late — too  busy. 

I  speak  at  Birmingham  on  the  25th,  Dover  the  7th 
November,  and  Liverpool,  5th  December. 

Ronsard  ought  to  be  out  '  anywhen.'  I  have  passed 
the  '  make  up  '  in  '  Dummy.'  That  is  the  last  act  in 
producing  a  book.  There  are  only  two  agreeable  moments 
in  this  tedious  operation.  One,  when  the  MS.  is  sent 
off ;  the  other,  when  you  pass  the  '  Dummy  '  and  know 
what  clothes  your  child  is  to  wear.  All  the  rest  is  sheer 
labour ;  and  the  labour  on  '  Proofs  '  is  more  exacting — 
to  me — than  the  labour  of  writing  in  the  first  instance. 
I  go  up  to  London  Monday  or  Tuesday  for  Parliament, 
4  to  be  there  '  which  Dizzy  called  the  first  condition  of 
parliamentary  success  and  to  talk  over  Lords'  amend- 
ments with  Lansdowne. — Your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

603 
To  Mrs.  Drew 

PARK  LANE, 

November  9th,  1906. 

I  took  full  advantage  of  your  leave  to  4  ponder  '  and 
heard  yesterday  from  Mr.  Frowde.  I  will  think  over 
books.  .  .  .  My  life  has  become  a  scurry.  When  I  get 
back  to  Saighton,  we  must  have  a  good  day  in  the  Tower 
as  a  companion  picture  in  memory  to  the  morning  under 
the  poplar.  It  is  these  little  bits  of  happy  serenity  that 
shine  out  from  the  past — the  day  in  the  garden  I  read 
you  the  '  Wood  beyond  the  World  '  and  half  a  morning 
in  Shelagh's  garden.  I  have  been  speaking  too  much. 
To-day  I  broke  out  with  Sibell  and  saw  Holman  Hunt's 
pictures.  Silence  ought  to  be  imposed  in  a  gallery. 
When  I  was  taking  in  the  wind-swung  lilt  of  rose  cloudlets 
from  Magdelene  Tower  on  the  May  morning,  this  is  what 
I  heard : 


206          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

Old  Lady  (deaf) :  '  But  how  wonderful  it  is  to  see  the 
way  it 's  lasted  ! ' 

Young  Lady  (shrill) :   '  Some  of  them  are  not  very  old.' 

Pause. 

Young  Lady  :   '  It 's  rather  pretty.' 

They  move  on  to  the  '  Two  Gentlemen  of  Verona.' 

Old  Lady  :   '  That  looks  very  modern.' 

Young  Lady  :  '  Oh  no  !  that  was  painted  in  1857.' 
And  so  on. 

To-day  I  go  to  Wilfrid  Blunt  for  two  days  of  poetry. 


604 

To  his  Mother 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

November  16th,  1906. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — Enclosed  came  back  to  me 
through  Dead  Letter  Office.  You  know  Miss  Hamilton's 
address.  Will  you  send  it  on — as  it  is — to  show  that  I 
did  answer  her  letter. 

*  Fairy  '  King  and  I  are  having  a  great  rummage  among 
papers  to-day.  For  I  have  reached  a  pause  in  work. 

I  almost  believe  that  I  have  finished  Dover  Harbour. 
But  I  shall  not  send  my  wire  to  you  till  after  the  3rd 
Reading.  Next  week  I  am  busy ;  speaking  London  on 
21st,  Dover  22nd,  and  Oxford  23rd.  Shall  I  come  to 
Clouds,  Saturday,  24th,  if  free  ? 

I  have  another  bunch  of  speeches  on  5th,  6th,  and  10th 
December  in  Liverpool  and  Glasgow.  So — if  tired — 
shall  rest  in  London  on  24th-26th.  But  if  not,  Clouds 
would  be  delicious  and  I  long  to  see  you. 

My  new  battle-horse  is  the  Navy. 

We  made  a  grand  fight  on  Land  Tenure  and  the  Squires 
of  England  ought  to  be  obliged  to  us.  The  opposition 
knew  nothing  about  Rural  life  and  we  banged  'em  from 
pillar  to  post. — Your  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 


TO  WILFRID  WARD  207 

605 

To  Wilfrid  Ward 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
November  16th,  1906. 

MY  DEAR  WILFRID, — I  cannot  find  time  to  write  any- 
thing. But — if  possible — I  will  dine  on  28th  from  the 
House. 

A  suggestion  occurs  to  me  as  I  write — rude  and  crude. 
Let  me  put  it  in  this  way  : — 

1.  Historical    exegesis    has — so    far — mainly    rejected 
certain  books  from  canonical  books — the  Bible,  as  some 
call  the  collection. 

But  it  has  rejected  them — to  be  more  precise — in  respect, 
not  of  their  ecclesiastical  authority,  but  of  their  traditional 
ascription  to  certain  authors  and  dates. 

2.  Reverse  the  process.     Let  historical  exegesis  examine 
the  traditional  value  of  non-canonical  books  and  legends. 
What  does  history  make  of  '  Domine,  quo  vadis  ?  '     Of 
the  apostolic  conversion  of  Britain  ?    of  the  peregrina- 
tions of  St.  James  ? 

Conclusion.  Historical  exegesis  belittles  the  Canon  by 
demonstrating  that  Tradition  which  has  grown  up  round 
it  is  irreconcileable  with  historical  results.  But  these 
traditions  mean  something.  They  are  not  pure  inven- 
tions. Therefore  let  historical  exegesis  appraise  all  tradi- 
tions and  see  what  happens. 

This  suggests  another  track  which  I  once  sketched  hi  a 
walk  we  took  together.  Assuming  Revelation,  of  any 
kind,  it  had  to  be  conveyed  in  a  known  language  but  also, 
with  a  like  necessity,  in  a  familiar  order  of  religious  and 
metaphysical  thought.  To  collate  the  '  Book  of  the 
Dead  '  or  the  sacramental  rites  of  a  Zagreus  or  an  Adonis 
with  canonical  scriptures  does  not  diminish  the  authority 
of  Christianity.  It  only  shows  that  two  great  ideas  in 
Christianity :  (1)  reward  and  punishment  after  death,  (2) 
the  mystery  of  regeneration  by  sacrifice  were  the  reli- 
gious, or  metaphysical,  medium  in  which  the  truths  of 
Christianity  had  perforce  to  be  stated  if  they  were  to  be 


208         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

understood  ;  just  as  Aramaic  or  Alexandrian  Greek,  were 
the  linguistic  media  in  which  they  had,  similarly,  to  be 
stated,  if  they  were  to  be  intelligible. — Yours  ever, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 
606 

To  his  Father 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
November  19th,  1906. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — Many  thanks  for  transferring 
the  securities.  I  am  sure  you  are  right  to  do  so.  We 
shall  certainly  have  some  form  of  graduated  income  tax 
the  operation  of  which,  combined  with  Death  Duties,  must 
dissipate  any  fortune  in  the  course  of  three  generations. 
Unless  the  Landed  Gentry  treat  their  personal  estates 
on  the  lines  of  men  in  business  ;  i.e.  hold  it  divided — as 
you  propose — among  capable  living  members  of  the 
family,  each  one  of  whom  should  take  advice  on  re-invest- 
ment from  time  to  time. 

But  you  need  have  no  fears  of  speculation  on  my  part. 

I  merely  hold  that  a  little  time  and  attention  ought  to 
secure  three  and  three  quarters  per  cent  on  capital  and 
that  unless  this  is  done  incomes  must  perish. 

A  judicious  re-investment  of  Railway  securities,  even 
ten  years  ago,  would  have  increased  many  private  incomes 
and  made  them  safer  at  the  same  time. 

You  will  save  income  tax  on  my  £1800.  But  I  ought 
to  be  able  to  re-invest  to  cover  the  payment  which  will 
now  fall  on  me. — Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

P.S. — Tell  Mamma  that  my  Land  Bill  books  are  found. 
The  Ronsard  file  will  be  sent  to  her  when  complete — 
Reviews  are  still  coming  in. 

607 
To  Mrs.  Drew 

35  PARK  LANE, 
November  24th,  1906. 

I  want  to  tell  you  that  the  '  Young  Squire  of  Hawarden  * 
did  very  well  (my  Oxford  Union  was  the  third  of  three 


TO  WILFRID  WARD  209 

consecutive  speeches).  He  was  by  far  the  best  of  the 
four  speakers.  Talbot  was  good  ;  straight,  burly  and 
in  earnest.  Villiers  gave  a  polished,  fluent  little  discourse. 

But  the  4  Young  Squire ' 1  has  the  root  of  the  matter 
in  him.  He  debated,  put  his  case,  came  into  contact 
with  reality,  was  at  ease  and  without  mannerism  of  any 
kind. 

I  '  debated  '  his  speech  and  we  are  embalmed  together 
in  the  *  Tunes.' 

The  whole  thing  was  a  pleasant  experience  and  made 
me  wish  I  was  20  years  younger. 


608 
To  Wilfrid  Ward 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

December  20th,  1906. 

MY  DEAR  WILFRID, — Many  thanks  for  your  letter  and 
Eccles'  review.  It  is  very  good.  I  read  it  with  delight 
and  sounded  his  praise  to  a  small  gathering  of  '  notables  ' 
last  night — Robert  Cecil,  Seely,  Masterman,  Butcher  and 
Rawlinson.  He  is  not  a  '  barren  rascal ' !  He  is  not  your 
mere  battledore  Reviewer  returning  to  the  author  his 
shuttlecock,  a  little  frayed.  He  has  fecundity  and  ripe 
sayings — *  an  arsenal  of  glory  and  a  granary  of  vital 
sorrows.' 

At  last,  to-night  I  finish  this  working  year.  We  buried 
the  Education  Bill  this  afternoon.  I  have  won  my  elec- 
tion, made  speeches,  published  my  little  book,  made  new 
friends,  fought  old  enemies.  I  have  lived  and  life  is 
wonderful. 

I  shall  wait  impatiently  for  your  '  XlXth  Century  ' 
article  on  France.  I  spent  Sunday  at  Arundel.  Norfolk 
makes  little  account  of  French  Catholics.  Among  new 
friends  I  have  Belloc.  But  towards  Christmas  the  heart 
turns  to  old  friends,  to  you  and  your  wife.  And  I  send 
you  greetings. — Yours  ever,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

1  William  Gladstone,  the  President  of  the  Union. 
VOL.  II.  O 


210          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

609 

To  his  Mother 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  December  22nd,  1906. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — This  is  to  wish  you  a  merry 
Christmas  and  happy  New  Year  and  to  send  you  moun- 
tains of  love.  This  has  been  a  year  of  work  and — at 
times — of  anxiety.  But  it  is  over.  I  have  enjoyed  Guy 
at  35,  Park  Lane,  immensely.  I  hope  to  get  to  Clouds 
later  on. 

I  was  '  in  at  the  death '  of  the  Education  Bill  on  Thursday. 

The  last  three  days  Monday-Wednesday,  were  very 
tense.  I  was  dug  out  of  the  Westminster  Latin  Play 
Monday  night.  We  conferred  in  Arthur's  room  from 
9-30  to  past  midnight,  again  on  Tuesday  from  5  to  8 
o'clock,  and  on  Wednesday  from  12  to  2  o'clock.  It  was 
interesting. 

S.  S.  and  I  got  here  last  night.  To-day  I  hunted  and 
had  a  good  gallop  which  made  me  very  hot  and  will  make 
me  very  stiff. 

Now  I  am  going  to  hunt  and  amuse  myself. 

I  shall — for  pleasure — begin  reading  all  Walter  Scott, 
as  I  have  to  deliver  an  address  on  him  next  November  in 
Edinburgh,  which  will,  afterwards,  serve  as  a  little  essay. 

Can  you  lend  me  Lockhart's  Life  from  your  East  Room  ? 

It  will  make  a  pleasant  holiday  task  and  fit  in  with  my 
general  literary  work  as  another  aspect  of  the  Romantic 
Revival. 

I  am  longing  to  see  you. — Your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

610 

To  his  Brother 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
Christmas  Eve,  1906. 

DEAREST  OLD  GUY, — Let  me  hear  from  time  to  time 
what  you  do  in  the  way  of  hunting. 


TO  HIS  NEPHEW,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM     211 

We  had  good  sport  to-day  with  the  South  Cheshire— 
Heggie  Corbett's — forty-five  minutes,  rather  moderate,  to 
ground ;  and  then  a  capital  fox-chase.  Found  at  Broom- 
hall,  ran  fast  20  minutes  to  a  covert,  dwelt  there  six  or 
seven  minutes,  viewed  him  away,  slower  hunting,  and  a 
fast  finish,  killed  in  the  open.  One  hour  and  fifteen 
minutes  in  all. 

We  were  quite  the  '  Huntbaches  ' — Bendor,  Shelagh, 
'  Pat,' *  Mrs.  Malone,  Madge,  John  Fowler,  Arthur  Gros- 
venor,  Gerry  Grosvenor,  Perl'  and  self,  Ivor  Guest  and 
4  uncle  Tom  Codley  and  all.' 

There  was  a  large  field  out  but  plenty  of  room  to  ride 
and  lots  of  '  lepping.'  I  enjoyed  myself  hugely. 

The  sun-dial  2  has  been  erected  '  with  all  military  pre- 
cautions.' Sibell  knows  nothing  of  it,  nor  Percy  either. 

I  visited  it  after  coming  in  from  hunting.  The  rain 
poured  down.  The  gardeners  gave  me  glimpses  of  it 
with  a  bull's-eye  lantern.  '  Muin  was  the  word.'  And 
we  separated  in  the  darkness  before  Sibell  got  back  from 
her  last — I  hope — shopping  expedition  to  Chester.  Love 
to  all. — Your  devoted  brother,  GEORGE. 


611 

To  his  Nephew,  George  Wyndham 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  January  4th,  1907. 

MY  DEAR  LITTLE  GEORGE, — I  think  I  must  write  to  you 
my  Fox-hunting  letter  this  time.  I  told  your  father  of 
the  good  day  we  had  on  Wednesday. 

To-day,  again,  we  had  very  good  sport :  first,  a  run  of 
about  fifty  minutes,  with  lots  of  jumping  ;  second,  forty- 
five  minutes  and  a  kill  in  the  open  and  third,  about  twenty- 
five  minutes,  not  so  good. 

We  all  enjoyed  ourselves.     Percy  rode  a  new  horse 

1  Heremon  Lindsay  Fitzpatrick. 

2  He  had  bought  an  old  sun-dial  and  erected  it  in  the  garden  as  a  surprise 
Christmas  gift  to  his  wife. 


212          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

that  jumped  well.  Bendor  and  I  both  took  mild  tosses 
in  the  second  run.  Your  uncle  Pat  was  out  too  and 
Mrs.  Malone. 

I  am  glad  that  my  whip  brought  you  luck  and  that  you 
got  the  brush.  —Your  affectionate  uncle,  GEORGE. 


612 

To  Monsieur  Auguste  Rodin 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  7  Janvier  1907. 

MON  CHER  AMI, — J'ai  eu  tant  a  faire  ces  jours-ci  que  je 
n'ai  pu  repondre  a  votre  lettre  jusqu'  aujourd'hui.  Je  vous 
demande  mille  pardons  de  ce  delai.  Ne  songez  pas  que 
votre  lettre  ne  m'a  pas  rejoui  le  coeur.  Je  suis  toujours 
enchante  d'entendre  d'un  de  mes  meilleurs  amis.  Et, 
encore,  je  suis  plein  de  reconnaissance  pour  votre  bonne 
intention  de  m'envoyer  un  bronze  de  mon  buste.  C'est 
un  vrai  cadeau  d'amitie"  que  je  cherirai  pendant  toute  ma 
vie.  Egalement  pour  sa  valeur  artistique  et  en  souve- 
nance  de  nos  entretiens  d'autour.  Qu'ils  soient  bientdt 
renouveles  est  mon  ardent  desir. 

Je  vous  donne  d'accord  ma  permission  de  placer  une 
troisieme  epreuve  dans  un  musee  de  1'Etat.  En  verite"  je 
vous  remercie  d'un  tel  honneur,  quelqu'  indigne  que  je 
suis  d'etre  tant  soit  peu  '  immortalise '  d'une  mani^re  si 
imprevue. 

N'oubliez  jamais,  cher  Monsieur  Rodin,  que  je  suis 
votre  ami,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

M.  AUGUSTE  RODIN. 

613 
To  Mrs.  Drew 

SAIGHTON, 
January  15th,  1907. 

We  had  all  kinds  of  adventures  with  our  motor  after 
leaving  your  Hawarden  haven.  It  could  not  go  up-hill 


TO  HIS  BROTHER  213 

and  was  not  safe  going  down,  having  no  *  sprag,'  what- 
ever that  may  be.  We  got  lunch  at  3.15,  and  only  just 
caught  the  train  at  Chester  at  6.17.  The  motor,  which 
had  stopped  at  every  gradient,  finished  its  performance 
by  running  up  on  to  the  pavement  at  the  station.  We 
were  patient  from  good-fellowship  and  brave  from  igno- 
rance, with  the  exception  of  Charlie  Adeane,  who  has 
a  motor  of  his  own  and  talked  ominously  of  *  sprags.'  The 
pale-faced  chauffeur  maintained  a  harassed  silence.  I 
give  him  the  prize  for  patience  and  courage. 

614 

To  his  Brother 

SAIGHTON  GBANGE, 
CHESTER,  January  16th,  1907. 

DEAREST  OLD  GUY, — I  am  delighted  to  hear  that 
Wellington  can  take  little  George,  all  the  more  as  every- 
one tells  me  that  it  is — bar  Eton — the  best  of  all  public 
schools. 

I  have  been  idle  over  writing  hunting  news,  for  the 
pleasant  reason  that  our  good  sport  is  quite  continuous. 
Excepting  New  Year's  day  we  have  enjoyed  ourselves  on 
each  day,  galloping  and  jumping  to  our  heart's  content. 
We  had  two  good  gallops,  Thursday,  two  good  gallops, 
Friday.  The  North  had  a  great  day  Monday ;  Watkyn 
a  capital  day  yesterday  and  to-day — Wednesday — we  are 
just  in  from  hunting  all  round  here.  (1)  Found  in  Saighton 
Drives  and  ran  50  minutes,  slow  to  ground.  (2)  Found 
Saighton  Gorse  and  ran  very  fast  forty-seven  minutes 
over  the  vale  and  killed.  (3)  Viewed  a  fox  and  ran  across 
the  vale  through  Eaton  and  nearly  to  Chester.  We  whip 
off  every  day  in  the  dark,  Benny,  Shelagh,  Perf,  Pat  and 
I  crack  along  in  front  all  the  time.  Apart  from  the  rare 
sport  the  weather  is  so  delicious.  I  sweat  through  every- 
thing twice  a  day,  and  the  country  looks  beautiful  and 
smells  sweet  of  moist  earth.  Perf  is  a  recognized  exponent 
of  the  Art,  always  in  front  flight,  and  often  *'  cutting  out 
the  work.' 


214          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

It  seems  a  shame  to  make  you  work  for  the  W.  O.  But 
I  suppose  you  will  be  able  to  get  some  hunting.  Perf  and 
I  have  six  horses  between  us  that  all  '  know  to  jump.* 
The  seventh  we  are  selling  as  he  falls  from  old  age. — Your 
devoted  brother,  GEORGE. 

615 

To  his  Mother 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  January  16th,  1907. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  have  been  so  occupied  with 
a  Railway  Board  hi  London  each  week  and  hunting  on 
all  other  days  that  I  have  not  had  tune  to  write. 

I  will  have  a  search  for  the  Rossetti ;  but  do  not 
remember  him. 

As  for  the  seal — his  fine  disc,  as  well  as  his  Venetian 
glass  handle  ask  for  some  rare  device.  I  have  G.  W.  on 
the  old  Fox-Pad  seal  of  the  5th  January  1880  I  You 
remember  the  run  from  Everleigh  to  West  Woods,  one 
hour  and  thirty  minutes. 

I  don't  like  imitating  Morris'  motto. 
I  have  taken  for  my  motto  a  Latin  line,  Virgil,  '  Tu  ne 
cede  malis,  sed  contra  audentior  ito  '  which  means,  *  Do 
not  yield   to   misfortunes   but   rather  meet   them  more 
boldly.'     The  last  two  words  would  do — as  thus  : — 

AUD 
ENTIOR 

ITO 

or  else  '  ne  quid  timide,'  Cicero. 

or  else  '  optima  quseque  dies  '  which  means,  '  Each  best 
day.' 

But  do  not  let  us  decide  in  a  hurry.  You  might  look 
into  the  little  book  of  Emblems  I  gave  you,  there  were 
some  good  tags  in  that. 

For  the  rest,  do  not  trouble  over  cigarettes  etc.  I  am 
in  much  better  trim  in  all  those  ways.  Hunting  makes 
it  very  easy  not  to  smoke  much. — Your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  215 

616 

To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

SAIGHTON, 
18th  January  1907. 

MOST  DARLING  PAMELA, — It  was  a  great  joy  to  get  your 
letter.  My  answer  to  your  question  is  that  I  am  hunting 
with  Percy — just  as  if  nothing  had  happened.  I  skip 
details.  We  are  merely  happy.  We  have  7  hunters  and 
odd  mounts  from  Bendor  and  bust  along  and  perspire 
and  leave  all  letters  unanswered,  except  your  letter  and 
pressing  invitations  to  speak,  which  we  reject  with  scorn. 

In  the  evenings  we  read  '  Antony  and  Cleopatra  '  and 
old  books  about  Cheshire  and  England  : — Puller's  Worthies, 
The  Vale  Royal  of  England,  Camden's  Britannia,  and 
Froissart.  For  it  is  our  pleasure,  after  riding  over  the 
country,  to  retrieve  the  renown  of  great  men  who  came 
from  here  and  fought  in  France  and  Spain,  under  the 
Black  Prince — for  40  years  Earl  of  Chester. 

Thus,  we  love  the  horsemanship  of  the  folk  we  spring 
from  ;  and  cherish  every  rise  and  fall  in  the  ground  that 
nurtured  them.  We,  also,  cherish  their  marksmanship 
with  the  Bow.  I  opened  a  miniature  rifle  range  last 
Wednesday  week.  I  made  a  speech  that  has  made  them 
all  think  ;  quoting  from  ancient  annals.  Then,  by  good 
fortune,  I  put  up  my  miniature  rifle  and  beat  them  all  to 
blazes.  110  shot,  and  I  won  by  6  points.  It  was  very 
lucky  as  I  had  said  in  my  speech  that  shooting — like 
skating  and  swimming — once  learned  was  never  forgot. 

But,  in  the  main,  we  merely  hunt  the  fox  ;  and  get  very 
hot,  and  sleep  like  stones  and  prepare  for  the  next  call  to 
enterprise  by  thing  our  body  and  resting  our  head. 

All  this  sounds  very  brutal,  and  in  the  mode  of  Squire 
Western.  But — say  what  you  will — it  gives  me  rest  and 
pleasure,  it  is  jolly  to  find  that  20  years  cannot  abate  one's 
huge  delight  in  riding  to  hounds ;  and  the  added  joy  of 
seeing  Perf  always  in  the  first  flight  and  often  cutting  out 
the  work  is  exquisite.  If  I  can  keep  my  place  of  old  days 


216          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

I  am  pleased — like  a  boy.     If  he  beats  me  I  am  in  the 
seventh  heaven. 

Meanwhile  I  am  at  last  really  resting  my  brain.  I 
sleep  like  a  stone.  I  weigh  half  a  stone  less  and  I  nurse 
a  glorious  contempt  for  all  the  little  people  who  fuss  about 
nothing. 

But,  occasionally,  I  write  verse  again,  and  I  read  nothing 
except  Virgil,  Catullus,  Shakespeare,  Walter  Scott  and 
Boccacio. 

So  I  live,  getting  younger  and  younger,  loathing  the 
thought  of  going  back  into  the  pig-stye  of  Politics.  But, 
therefore,  preparing  to  take  on  Devolution  or  the  Army 
Scheme  with  a  maximum  of  refreshed  detachment,  it  is 
jolly  to  weigh  half  a  stone  less  and  to  sleep  and  feel  free. 

I  rejoice  in  Bim's  poem,  it  is  delightful.  But  never 
instigate  him.  If  he  writes  that  now,  leave  him  alone. 
Encourage  him  to  ride  and  sail  a  boat  or  shoot  birds.  His 
brain  will  dart  out  only  too  soon.  Muffle  it  in  hardy 
fatigue. 

I  speak  from  knowledge.  As  a  boy,  and  once  or  twice 
since,  I  have  been  near  the  precipice  of  abnormal  cere- 
bration. But  the  whole  truth  is,  if  you  have  a  brain 
that  works  at  lightning  speed  when  stimulated,  to  drug 
it  with  wholesome  fatigue,  involving  courage  and  initiative. 
It  will  shoot  out,  fast  enough,  at  any  Cabinet  Council 
which  he  may  condescend  to  illuminate. — Your  devoted 
brother  GEORGE. 


617 

To  his  Father 

SAIGHTON, 
January  IQth,  1907. 

DEAREST  PAPA, — Yes,  that  is  what  I  mean.  The 
increased  volume  of  Trade  stated  in  terms  of  £.s.d.  does 
not  prove  any  great  increase  in  income ;  i.e.  profits  ; 
of  the  ten  per  cent  increase  of  total  trade  one  half — five 
per  cent — is  attributable  to  a  general  rise  in  prices.  The 
materials  cost  more  as  well  as  the  products.  Apart  from 


;  TO  HIS  FATHER  217 

that  minor  consideration,  I  maintain  that  no  probable 
increase  in  taxable  income  will  meet  the  probable  demand 
for  increased  revenue. 

The  Government  will  try  to  cut  down  Army  and  Navy. 
But  they  cannot  go  far  enough  to  make  any  material 
difference.  Even  if  they  save  five  million — which  I 
think  impossible — the  reaction  will  set  in.  We  shall  have 
a  revival  of  complaints  that  barracks  are  not  kept  in 
sanitary  repair  and  of  scares  that  our  guns  and  rifles  are 
not  the  best,  etc.  If  the  Government  go  on  against  these 
storm  signals,  men  like  Haldane  and  Sir  John  Fisher  will 
resign. 

On  the  other  hand  the  Government  must  find  money 
to  meet  the  growing  and  excessive  demands  of  their  sup- 
porters. Some  day  old  age  pensions  will  be  voted. 

Apart  from  these  direct  payments  from  the  State  the 
time  is  coming  when  the  Imperial  Exchequer  will  have 
to  help  County  Councils  with  grants  in  aid. 

Apart  from  that,  they  will  be  driven — in  order  to  assist 
4  Reforms  '  without  paying  cash — to  *  guarantee  '  more 
loans  ;  and  to  lower  the  rate  of  interest  in  existing  loans, 
e.g.  Local  Loan  Stock,  or  rather  Housing  Loans  based  on 
that  stock. 

All  this  tends  to  lower  our  credit ;  i.e.  the  borrowing 
power  of  the  Exchequer. 

The  time  will,  therefore,  come  when  the  Government 
cannot  meet  the  demands  made  on  it  unless  it  restores 
the  credit  of  the  Exchequer.  And  that  can  only  be  done 
— in  the  long  run — by  paying  off  debt,  i.e.  raising  revenue 
another  twenty  million  a  year  to  increase  the  sinking  fund. 
If  the  Government  try  to  do  this  by  direct  taxation  e.g. 
violent  graduation  of  Income  Tax,  they  will  increase  the 
mischief.  The  City  will  not  lend  them  money  ;  or  float 
their  loans  ;  and  private  persons  will  invest  more  and 
more  abroad  and  ultimately,  if  they  feel  they  are  being 
unfairly  treated,  will  evade  income  tax  by  lodging  their 
securities  in  banks  abroad,  say,  Switzerland. 

If  the  population  increases — as  it  does — and,  at  the 
same  time  insists  on  state-aid,  as  it  does,  by  way  of  costly 


218          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

education,  costly  Poor  Law ;  perhaps  direct  pensions ; 
and  by  way  of  Housing  Schemes,  and  Small  Holding 
Schemes,  guaranteed  by  the  State  at  low  interest  and 
long  periods  of  repayment,  there  is  no  possible  ultimate 
solution  except  that  the  people  should  pay  for  all  this. 
And  there  is  no  way  in  which  they  can  pay  except  by 
broadening  the  basis  of  taxation. 

That  alone  yields  a  sufficient  amount  of  revenue  to 
restore  credit,  and  that  alone  affords  an  effective  system 
of  graduation  i.e.  the  '  automatic  '  graduation — as  I  have 
called  it — which  proceeds  from  the  relatively  poor  not 
buying  as  many  luxuries  as  the  relatively  rich. 

The  English  delight  in  discussing  these  problems  in 
terms  of  Justice.  Even,  on  that  basis,  it  is  absurd  to 
tax  a  man  with  £2000  a  year  and  ten  children  at  the  same 
rate  of  graduation  as  a  bachelor  with  the  same  income. 

It  is  more  reasonable  to  discuss  the  problem  in  terms 
of  common  sense  and  to  determine  as  the  old  financiers 
did  (1)  How  much  money  do  we  want  ?  and  (2)  How 
can  we  get  it  with  the  least  annoyance  and  disturbance  ? 

Our  present  system  is  not  sound.  It  is  not  effective 
to  depend  as  largely  as  we  do  on  taxes  of  three  kinds 

(1)  Taxes  on  Beer,  Spirits,  and  Tobacco,  which  hit  the 
poor. 

(2)  Taxes  on  Stamps  which  hit  the  makers  of  wealth. 

(3)  Death  Duties  and  Income  Tax  which  hit  the  owners 
of  wealth  i.e.  the  savers  and  investors. 

Besides  all  this,  there  is  another  cloud  on  the  financial 
horizon.  I  mean  the  Savings  Banks.  There  is,  I  think, 
£200,000,000  in  the  Savings  Banks  and  no  securities.  If 
the  Labour  Party  organised  a  scare  and  run  on  the 
Savings  Banks  they  could  smash  our  existing  system  of 
Finance. 

Some  day  a  Chancellor  of  the  Exchequer  will  have  the 
courage  to  tell  the  truth. 

He  will  have  to  consolidate  the  Debt  again  ;  on  a 
two-and-three-quarter  per  cent  basis  :  including  all  our 
Debt,  i.e.,  all  the  loans  we  guarantee  as  well  as  Consols. 

He  will  have  to  assist  the  low  rateable  arrears. 


TO  HIS  FATHER  219 

He  will  have  to  increase  the  sinking  fund.  He 
will  have  also  to  restrict  the  borrowing  power  of  Local 
Bodies. 

And  to  do  this,  without  destroying  the  Navy  and  Army 
(which  in  turn  are  necessary  for  our  credit)  he  will  have  to 
increase  largely  the  number  of  articles  on  which  duty  is 
paid ;  so  largely,  that  he  may  as  well  go  in  for  an  all- 
round  Tariff  and  use  part  of  it  for  bargaining  with  other 
countries. 

That  is  the  way  in  which  Fiscal  Reform  will  come. 

I  see  that  I  have  not  given  a  plain  answer  to  your 
question  '  How  do  Consols  at  86  affect  the  Government  ?  ' 

The  answer  is  that  they  cannot  get  the  money  they 
need  on  reasonable  terms ;  and  sometimes  that  they 
cannot  get  it  at  all. 

As  things  are  they  cannot  get  the  money  for  Irish  Land 
Purchase. 

Very  well.  They  have  now  got  to  get  the  money  for 
Irish  labourers. 

Then  their  English  supporters  want  Housing  Schemes. 
What  is  that  to  be  ?  Five  millions  a  year  would  be  a 
flea-bite.  But  they  would  have  to  borrow  it.  And  so 
on  with  Small-holdings  ;  and,  of  course,  with  Old  Age 
Pensions. 

For  these  purposes  they  must  either  borrow,  issuing  a 
loan  themselves  ;  or,  they  must  get  the  City  to  issue  the 
loan  and  guarantee  the  interest. 

Apart  from  these  larger  transactions,  a  Government 
has  to  borrow  in  the  course  of  every  year.  The  income 
tax  does  not  come  in  '  pat '  to  the  day  ;  nor  do  the  proceeds 
of  other  taxes.  But  the  Government  has  to  pay  soldiers 
and  sailors,  and  postmen  once  a  week,  and  to  pay  for 
ships  and  public  buildings  '  on  the  nail.' 

With  Consols  at  86 — i.e.,  with  a  low  credit,  they  have 
to  borrow  at  high  interest.  The  Bank  rate  was  six  per 
cent,  it  is  now  five  per  cent.  So  they  cannot  get  '  cheap  ' 
money  for  a  short  period,  any  more  than  you  can,  or  a 
Railway  Company. 

I  do  not  for  a  moment  believe  that  Arthur  will  resign 


220          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

the  Leadership.  There  is  plenty  of  intrigue  against  him  ; 
but  it  is  confined  to  a  minority  of  men  in  the  House,  and 
of  men  who  are  likely  to  get  into  the  House. 

In  a  Democracy  politicians  have  to  be  '  Vote-hunters.' 
But  they  can  hunt  for  them  in  a  proper,  as  well  as  in  an 
improper,  fashion.  They  can  appeal  to  Patriotism  as 
well  as  to  Pockets,  and  to  common  interests  as  well  as  to 
Class  jealousies. 

Bendor,  Percy  and  self,  with  Cecil  Parker  and  Colonel 
Lloyd  had  an  interesting  shoot  to-day,  second  time  over. 
I  have  not  got  the  exact  bag.  But  it  was  pleasantly 
varied  by  7  woodcock,  8  snipe,  6  teal,  1  jay,  1  magpie  and 
one  pigeon  with,  I  suppose  about  170  pheasants,  and  a 
few  hares  and  rabbits. — Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 


618 

To  his  Father 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  January  20th,  1907. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  posted  my  answer  last  night. 

The  Navy.  The  Government  did  diminish  the  building 
programme.  But  Lord  Brassey  may  be  right  in  saying 
that  the  Two-Power  standard  is  maintained  ;  for  the 
Government  declare  that  they  reduced  their  programme 
because  other  countries  will  not  complete  some  ships 
they  are  building  as  soon  as  we  expected  ;  that  other 
countries  are  not  '  laying  down  '  new  ships  and  that,  in 
any  case,  as  we  build  faster  we  can  out-pace  them  if  they 
do  suddenly  lay  down  new  ships. 

Without  fuller  knowledge  it  is  not  wise  to  attack  the 
Government  for  not  laying  down  more  ships. 

The  case  I  make  against  them  is  that  they  are  (1) 
taking  Battleships  out  of  full  commission  (2)  putting  them 
into  the  Reserve  and  simply  christening  the  Reserve  '  The 
Home  Fleet '  and  (3)  Then  recreating  the  bad  type  of 
Reserve  which  we  abolished. 

This  shows  it  : — 


TO  HIS  FATHER  221 

BATTLESHIPS 


1905 


In  full  commission,  i.e.  at  sea  all 
the  year  round  .  .  .32 

At  sea  with  full  crews  only  for 
part  of  the  year  .  .  -,s  *  14 


46 


1907 


26 


14  2 


40 


Having  taken  six  Battleships  out  of  full  commission 
and  put  them  down  into  the  Reserves  now  called  '  Home 
Fleet.' 

They  have  taken  six  out  of  that  Reserve  and,  practically, 
put  them  into  harbour,  permanently,  with  only  men  to 
oil  the  guns  etc. — sort  of  caretakers,  and  a  vague  promise 
to  take  them  out  sometimes. 

Now  a  ship  does  not  '  find  herself '  till  she  has  been  two 
months  at  sea  with  all  the  ranks  on  board  that  will  navigate 
and  fight  her  in  war.  Again,  by  taking  ships  out  of  full 
commission,  they  keep  officers  and  men  ashore  who  ought 
to  be  at  sea  ;  and  allow  many  '  repairs  '  to  accumulate, 
the  need  of  which  would  only  be  discovered  after  the 
ships  had  been  at  sea. 

Besides  this  they  are  scamping  repairs  everywhere. 

'  Ready,  aye,  ready '  ought  to  be  our  motto  for  the 
Navy.  Nothing  is  worse  than  to  have  ships  laid  up  in 
time  of  Peace  that  would  require  over-hauling  at  the  out- 
break of  War.  It  was  precisely  that  system  which  we 
abolished  :  and  now  they  are  bringing  it  back  by  degrees 
to  save  the  cost,  in  coal,  wages  and  repairs  of  keeping  our 
First  Line  at  sea,  all  the  year  round. 

We  have  let  our  house  till  about  the  10th  of  March. 
Would  it  be  quite  convenient  to  give  me  a  bed  at  44  during 
the  first  three  weeks  of  the  session  ? — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

1  We  called  this  the  Reserve,  of  the  new  kind,  with  nucleus  crews. 

2  They  call  it  the  Home  Fleet ! 


222          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 


619 

To  his  Sister,  Mary 


SAIGHTON, 
l.ii.07. 


MOST  DARLING  CHANG, — I  gauged  the  situation  on 
Monday  night  and  saw  that  it  did  not  present  the  elements 
of  a  good  talk  except  by  going  to  supper  together.  I 
should  have  liked  that.  But  Sibell  was  looking  white 
and  tired,  so  I  whipped  her  off  to  be  out  of  reach  of  temp- 
tation. Had  I  stayed  and  supped,  I  should  have  cheered 
up  and  not  gone  to  bed  till  3. 

The  first  simmer  of  excitement,  the  fun  of  seeing  you 
all,  and  Pamela  and  '  notables,'  the  restless  enthusiasm 
of  Blow,  the  thrill  of  the  *  Drums  of  Oude,'  the  intolerable 
twaddle  of  '  Toddles,'  the  yawning  distance  between  our 
chairs,  the  gnawing  pangs  of  hunger,  after  a  long  journey, 
and  20  minutes'  dinner,  all  pointed  either  to  a  large  and 
leisurely  supper  or  else  to  bed  on  the  principle  of  '  qui 
dort  dine.'  I  decided  rightly,  for  as  it  was  Sibell  did  not 
get  to  bed  till  1.30  and  began  again  at  6  a.m.  to  catch 
the  8.30. 

I  snatched  a  pretty  good  hunt  between  two  frosts  on 
Wednesday.  The  Eaton  Party  had  many  casualties. 
Shelagh  fell  and  got  a  bruise,  but  nothing  of  consequence. 
Lady  Chesterfield  and  Tullibardine  also  fell.  I  picked 
up  Lady  C.  and  we  did  not  lose  our  places  in  the  first 
flight.  At  the  end  we  heard  Shelagh  was  hurt,  but  soon 
met  her  walking  and  laughing  and  sent  her  home  safe  and 
warm  in  a  motor  which  Benny  had  galloped  for  to  Eaton 
and  driven  out  himself. 

Yesterday  we  shot,  a  lovely  day.  Then  I  had  to  go 
again  to  London  last  night  for  Railway  Meeting,  and  back 
to-day,  and  here  I  am  with  a  blazing  fire  in  my  room  and 
my  books  round  me.  Perf,  who  went  yesterday  to  the 
Bicester  Ball,  got  into  my  carriage  at  Bletchley. 

I  am  eager  for  a  good  talk  with  you. 

I  am  interested  to  read  A.  J.  B.'s  speech.     I  gather 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  MARY  223 

that  he  is  going  to  '  put  his  foot  down.'  I  feel  more  and 
more  that  it  is  very  noble  of  him — and  rather  noble  of 
me  I — to  bother  about  politics  at  all.  I  look  forward  to 
the  session  with  disgust  approaching  to  nausea.  Since 
Christmas  I  have  for  the  first  time  since  I  took  office  felt 
young  and  happy  ;  hunting,  reading  good  books,  enjoying 
Percy,  and  living,  in  short. 

To  go  back  to  the  House,  its  dust  and  dullness  and 
littleness,  is  like  a  bad  dream.  It  makes  me  sick  to  think 
of  Herbert  Gladstone  backing  an  iniquitous  Licensing 
Bill.  It  makes  me  sorry  to  think  of  poor  Birrell  talking 
clever  rubbish  about  Ireland  ;  and  dear  Haldane  reeling 
off  his  '  continuous  band  '  of  undistinguished,  but  gram- 
matical, English,  in  which  he  ties  up  and  strangles  what 
little  of  life  is  left  in  the  Army  on  which  St.  John  sat 
heavily,  and  A.  F.  stamped  furiously. 

Our  own  crew  are  most  depressing  and  peevish.  They 
have  no  heart  in  them  and  no  pride  of  race.  There  is 
nothing  magnanimous  or  generous  in  the  whole  show  of 
petty  intrigue  and  sheepish  cowardice.  But  for  my 
affection  for  Arthur  and  admiration  of  his  tenacity,  I 
doubt  whether  a  waning  sense  of  duty  would  be  strong 
enough  to  prevent  me  from  quietly  dropping  my  odious 
trade  before  the  '  Dyer's  hand  '  is  quite  '  subdued  to 
what  it  works  in.' 

Democracy  is  a  disease  for  which  there  is  no  cure,  or, 
at  best,  a  normal  form  of  senile  decay  in  States.  When  I 
was  young  I  read  cheerfully  such  platitudes  as  that  States 
are  like  trees,  with  their  periods  of  growth,  maturity  and 
decay.  But,  as  life  goes  on,  the  truth  of  platitudes  becomes 
poignant  enough  to  pierce  through  their  used  envelopes. 
Instead  of  laughing  at  them  for  being  stale,  one  is  shocked 
by  them  for  being  true.  Age  in  States,  or  men,  or,  above 
all,  in  women,  is  no  joke. 

But  at  this  point  in  my  melancholy  reflection  the  waning 
sense  of  duty  begins  to  perk  up  a  little.  I  despise  the 
French  aristocracy  for  having  thrown  up  the  sponge ; 
and  any  man  or  woman  who  declines  into  a  praiser  of 
past  days. 


224          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

So  I  conclude  with  Dr.  Johnson's  robust  assertion  : — 
'  If  the  changes  that  we  fear  be  thus  irresistible,  what 
remains  but  to  acquiesce  with  silence,  as  in  other  insur- 
mountable distresses  of  humanity  ?  It  remains  that  we 
retard  what  we  cannot  repel,  that  we  palliate  what  we 
cannot  cure.' 

But  I  go  further — being  now  on  the  upward  track — 
and  say  once  more,  that  the  Empire  is  a  new  State — among 
other  new  States.  And  that — if  we  will  realise  that — 
there  may  be  two  or  three  centuries  still  ahead  of  the 
glorious  indiscretions  and  rapt  visions  of  youth ;  the 
tumbles  and  victories. 

We  ought  to  fight  for  this.  So  I  suppose  I  shall  go  up 
to  London  on  the  llth  and  '  peg  away  '  as  usual.  But 
personally  I  detest  the  job,  and  prefer  hunting  and  the 
society  of  the  people  I  am  fond  of,  whether  dead  and 
embalmed  in  books,  or  alive  and  pleasant  for  their  beauty 
and  keen  wits. — Your  loving  brother,  GEORGE. 

620 

To  his  Father 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
February  2nd,  1907. 

DEAREST  PAPA, — If  you  look  in  to-day's  *  Times '  you 
will  find  that — '  P.  L.  Wyndham,  gent.'  is  gazetted  a  2nd 
Lieutenant,  on  probation  to  the  Coldstream  Guards. — 
Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

621 

To  his  Mother 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  February  6th,  1907. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — It  is  just  possible  that  we 
might  not  be  able  to  get  to  you  till  the  Wednesday  after 
Easter  Sunday,  3rd  April ;  for  I  have  to  do  Yeomanry 
Musketry  here  on  the  2nd  and  Sibell  would  like  to  do  her 
Easter  Festival  here.  But  that  ought  to  leave  me  a 


TO  HIS  FATHER  225 

week  or  two  as — with  an  early  Easter,  I  do  not  suppose 
the  House  will  rise  till  the  last  moment. 

I,  too,  have  been  thinking  a  great  deal  over  old  days. 
I  feel  the  '  epoch '  of  Perf  taking  the  plunge.  He  is 
'  posted  '  to  my  old  battalion,  the  1st.  I  am  glad  of  that 
for  old  sake's  sake  and  because  he  will  be  in  London  this 
summer  and  under  Billy  Lambton  as  his  C.O. 

The  frost  has  been  a  disappointment.  But  I  am  keep- 
ing myself  idle  and  fit  in  spite  of  it.  Yesterday  I  walked 
to  Chester,  round  the  walls  and  all  the  sights,  and  back  by 
Eccleston,  quite  twelve  miles. 

I  am  very  glad  that  Papa  is  helping  Guy.  It  will  make 
all  the  difference  to  his  success  that  he  should  not  have 
cares,  or  feel  that  Minnie  is  worried. 

I  am  longing  to  see  you  and  will  come  for  a  Sunday, 
pretty  soon. 

The  Government  are,  apparently,  going  to  '  shunt ' 
their  legislation  in  order  to  attack  the  House  of  Lords.  I 
liked  Arthur's  speech  at  Hull. — Loving  and  devoted  son, 

GEORGE. 

622 

To  his  Father 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  February  1th,  1907. 

DEAREST  PAPA, — To-night  we  had  what  Sibell  calls 
lier  '  Social  Gathering  '  in  the  School.  It  is  not  an  Enter- 
tainment. There  is  no  host  and  hostess.  We  merely 
all  go — selves,  farmers,  parson  and  labourers.  We  pro- 
vide tea,  etc.,  and  put  out  games,  photographs  and  any- 
thing likely  to  interest  or  amuse.  Anybody  sings  or 
plays  ;  who  can.  And,  when  the  ice  is  broken,  they  push 
away  the  table  and  dance  to  a  concertina. 

It  is  amusing  to  watch  Sibell  playing  some  desperate 
game,  such  as  the  '  Counties  of  England  '  with  a  party 
of  five  or  six.  Lettice  came  over  from  Eaton  and  grinned 
and  beamed  at  everybody. 

I  felt  that  they  were  nearly  all  out  and  out  Tories  and 
VOL.  n.  p 


226 

Protectionists.  One  wife  of  a  farmer — Mrs.  Fernall — 
would  please  you.  She  is  a  remarkable  woman.  They 
now  have  150  cows  and  make  eight  cheeses  a  day.  She 
has  been  married  36  years ;  and  milked  herself  from  the 
age  of  fourteen  to  last  year.  Her  '  maids  ' — '  milk- 
maids ' — were  dancing.  She  was  surprised  that  they 
could  do  it  so  well.  Her  one  ambition  is  to  present  a 
cheese  to  the  King.  She  is  running  the  politics  of  the 
district  and  asks  me  to  get  '  The  Duke  '  to  take  a  more 
active  part.  For  her  part,  she  denounces  the  '  Land 
Tenure  '  Bill  and  all  Radicalism,  saying  *  I  want  nothing 
better  than  to  be  the  Duke's  Tenant.'  She  does  not  say 
this  to  me  ;  but  to  the  local  Radical  agitator. 

Last  week  I  went  to  our  c  Eaton,'  Yeomanry,  Squadron 
dance,  as  C.O.  of  the  squadron.  Eighty-two  men  in  my 
squadron  rode  their  own,  or  their  father's  horses  at  the 
last  training.  The  wife  of  one  N.C.O.  Mrs.  Moore — ne'e 
Partington — has  three  brothers,  a  husband,  and  brother- 
in-law  in  the  Yeomanry.  She,  again,  is  a  most  capable 
person  and  good  company — runs  the  farm,  backs  the 
Yeomanry,  is  herself  and  at  her  ease.  Now,  she  went 
to  London  for  the  first,  and  only  time,  in  her  life  last  year. 
But  she  is  somebody.  Most  of  the  people  in  London  are 
not  anybody.  All  these  country  people  detest  and  fear 
the  present  Government. 

This  interests  me  in  connexion  with  the  general  elections. 

Our  people  will  rally  to  a  traditional,  organic  England 
and  '  play-up  *  for  Empire  if  we  will  lead  them. 

But  we  must  be  Conservatives  who  love  the  past  and 
Imperialists  who  believe  in  the  Future.  Given  that  we 
can  enroll  battalions. 

The  Midland  Conservative  Club  have  asked  me  to  be 
President  for  a  second  year,  and  I  have  accepted.  lam 
a  Vice-President  of  the  National  Union  in  Kent  and,  by 
special  request,  here  in  Cheshire  and,  to-day,  I  got  Bendor 
to  accept  the  office  of  President. 

The  vice  of  the  moment  consists  in  natural  leaders 
being  swayed  by  the  London  Press.  '  The  only  way  '  is 
for  each  man  who  can  lead  to  '  hoe  his  own'  row  '  in 


TO  MRS.  DREW  227 

his  own  district.  If  we  do  that  we  shall  win  the  next 
election. 

Perf  has  written  me  two  letters  since  he  was  trapped 
like  a  mouse  the  moment  he  shewed  his  nose  in  barracks 
after  the  gazette.  *  Billy  Lambton  '  his  C.O.  said,  4  Have 
you  done  any  drills  ? '  Perf  answered  *  No.'  Billy  replied, 
'  Then  you  had  better  begin  at  two  o'clock  to-day.'  So 
there  he  is  touching  his  toes  from  8  to  5  per  diem. 

He  is  taking  two  horses  to  Windsor  for  the  Drag  and  I 
think  I  shall  follow  his  example,  and  get  hot  twice  a  week. 

With  Lettice,  Guy  and  self  in  Belgrave  Square  and 
Perf  at  Chelsea  Barracks,  we  shall  be  quite  a  colony  in 
Belgravia. 

The  frost  has  been  a  cruel  disappointment.  But, 
having  got  very  fit  by  hunting  four  or  five  days  a  week  I 
am  keeping  fit  by  walking  to  Eaton  and  back  and  playing 
hockey  on  the  ice  and  then  squash  rackets,  by  electric  light. 

I  hope,  in  consequence,  to  take  a  burly  view  of  the 
King's  speech  and  to  express  it  bluntly  to  his  '  faithful 
Commons.' — Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 


623 

To  Mrs.  Drew 

SAIGHTON, 
February  8th,  1907. 

I  AM  crestfallen  and  really  distressed  about  the  article. 
But  also  I  am  burning  with  curiosity  to  read  it.  What 
does  it  contain  which  has  scared  Wilfrid  Ward  ?  He 
evidently  thinks  the  patrons  of  the  '  Dublin  Review  ' 
would  be  deeply  exercised  by  its  contents. 

Percy  has  joined  the  Coldstream  Guards — this  is  to 
realise  middle  age  with  a  vengeance ;  but  I  make  no 
complaint.  I  like  middle  age,  or,  rather,  enjoy  many 
quiet  things  that  I  used  to  neglect,  and  can — on  occasion 
• — enjoy  all  the  unquiet  things  also. 

I  am  off  to  London  for  the  Session,  and  staying  a 
month  with  my  father  at  44  B.  Square. 


228          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

624 

To  his  Mother 

44  BELGRAVE  SQUARE, 
St.   Valentine's  Day,  1907. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  opened  one  of  your  bills  by 
mistake.  I  am  in  your  dear  room  and  with  old  Guy 
where  I  was  last  year. 

Perf  is  very  busy  and  happy  over  his  soldiering  and  has 
lost  his  voice  shouting  at  drill. 

I  dined  with  Pamela  last  night  in  her  house  of  pictures 
and  the  day  before  I  got  a  glimpse  of  Lettie  in  silver  and 
emeralds  after  opening  of  Parliament.  She  was  dressed 
to  match  her  new  house,  which  is  all  white  and  green. 

I  am  only  sending  this  as  a  line  of  great  love,  on  the 
pretext  of  the  bill  I  opened. — Most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 


625 

To  Wilfrid  Ward 

44  BELGRAVE  SQUARE,  S.W., 
February  21st,  1907- 

MY  DEAR  WILFRID, — I  am  glad  you  met  brother  Guy. 
We  are  curiously  complementary  persons.  He  has  more 
obstinacy  and  less  imagination  than  I  have.  But  we 
have  much  in  common  and,  as  far  as  nearness  in  affection 
can  go — are  regular  *  Corsican  brothers.'  We  slept  in 
the  same  room  for  fifteen  out  of  the  first  seventeen  years 
of  my  life.  Since  then  '  the  seas  between  us  braid  ha' 
roared.'  But  I  have,  more  than  once,  felt  his  adventures 
telepathically. 

I  am  grinding  at  the  Army  question.  My  mind  is  a 
chaos  of  Regulars  and  Auxiliaries ;  Effectives  and  non- 
Effectives.  But  I  hope  to  be  terser  than  Haldane. — 
Yours  ever,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 


TO  WILFRID  WARD  229 


626 

To  his  Mother 

Lady  Day,  1907. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — We  have  just  celebrated  S.  S.'s 
birthday.  Guy,  Minnie  and  Lily  Zetland  dined.  I 
4  bunched  '  S.  S.  and  gave  her  a  new — wonderful — re- 
production of  Botticelli's  Madonna.  My  '  Bunch '  also 
was  of  roses  and  lilies.  And  now,  for  plans. 

I  am  coming  to  Clouds  on  Wednesday  or  Thursday  and 
Perf  comes  on  Saturday.  We  can  sleep  in  one  room  or 
do  any  amount  of  '  campaigning  '  if  you  are  full  up. 

Our  great  intent  is  to  hunt  on  Saturday — somewhere. 

I  am  bringing  three  horses  on  Wednesday.  But  I  do 
not  expect  a  real  holiday.  I  have  to  '  open  the  ball '  on 
Haldane's  scheme  on  the  9th.  That  means  work,  and  I 
suppose  that  Pupsy  1  will  put  me  through  my  paces  into 
the  bargain. 

4  Quand  mdme  '  it  will  be  glorious. — Loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

627 

To  Wilfrid  Ward 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

Midnight,  April  9th-10th,  1907. 

MY  DEAR  WILFRID, — You  were  elected  unanimously  to 
The  Club.2  I  was  much  concerned  over  your  candida- 
ture. As  Salisbury  wrote  to  me  saying  he  could  not  be 
there  and  Hugh  Cecil  who  ought  to  have  been  in  the 
Chair.  But  that  was  in  your  letter.  I  was  much  over- 
driven, as  I  had  to  open  the  Debate  and  bound  by  custom 
to  remain  on  the  bench.  However,  I  decided  that  Friend- 

1  Lord  Wemyss. 

2  A  dining  club  founded  by  Johnson,  Sir  Joshua  Reynolds,   and  Burke  in 
1764.     Its  members  included  besides  those  mentioned  in  the  letter — Sir  Edward 
Grey,  Lord  Haldane,  Mr.  Arthur  Balfour,  Sir  George   Murray,   Mr.   Alfred 
Lyttelton,  Mr.  Spencer  Lyttelton  and  Lord  Rosebery. 


230          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

ship  belongs  to  Eternity  and  Army  Debates  to  Time. 
So  I  broke  out,  and  went  to  *  The  Club,'  made  the  7th 
necessary  to  a  quorum  and  proposed  you  in  the  absence 
of  your  proposer. 

All  this  is  a  reasoned  apology  for  not  having  answered 
your  letter.  I  proceeded  '  par  voie  de  faits  ' ;  for  a 
friend  my  bite  is  better  than  my  bark. — Yours  ever, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

P.S. — The  seven  present  were  Arthur  Elliot,  Lord 
Kelvin,  Asquith,  Lord  Welby,  Spencer  Walpole,  Sir 
Alfred  Lyall  and  self. 

628 

To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
28th  April  1907. 

DARLING  PAM, — Your  letter  gave  me  a  thrill  of  pleasure. 
I  am  glad  that  the  book  x  is  going  to  be,  and  more  glad 
that  you  are  making  it.  I  got  your  letter  just  as  I  was 
off  to  make  a  speech,  and  I  envied  your  more  permanent 
offspring  and  the  serene  atmosphere  of  its  creation. 

The  best  books,  of  all  kinds,  are  not  only  each  a  part 
of  its  author.  The  author,  in  making  each,  must  play  his 
usual  part.  Shakespeare  puts  parts  of  himself  in  every 
one  of  his  characters.  And,  as  he  lived  by  the  stage,  he 
writes  Plays.  You  are  a  mother  with  delightful  children 
and  interesting  pictures,  so  you  tell  the  child  which  is  in 
every  man  and  woman  about  those  pictures. 

The  really  good  books,  big  or  little,  are  written  by  only 
two  classes  of  authors.  In  the  first,  is  the  author  with 
many  parts  of  humanity  in  him,  who,  also,  plays  many 
parts  in  the  world.  In  the  second,  is  the  author  with  one 
part  principally  developed  in  him  or  her,  who  keeps,  in 
the  main,  to  one  role  in  the  play  of  life.  In  the  first  are 
Chaucer  and  Shakespeare ;  in  the  second  Borrow  and 
Jane  Austen.  The  literary  authors,  however  great,  do 

1  'The  Children  and  the  Pictures.' 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  231 

not  make  such  good  books.  They  only  approach  that 
when,  like  Ben  Jonson,  Dryden,  or  Dr.  Johnson,  their 
parts  are  books  and  their  world  a  library.  You  have  a 
fair  chance  of  writing  a  little  classic.  The  thing  is  to 
write  a  classic,  however  little,  rather  than  a  book,  however 
big. 

Send  for  Walter  Raleigh's  *  Shakespeare.'  What  a 
comfort  that  man  is  !  What  a  discomfort,  in  the  long 
run,  is  a  Gosse  or,  even,  an  Andrew  Lang. 

The  Lyric  Poet  is  a  bird  apart — like  the  thrush.  He 
just  sings  all  that  matters  to  all  who  live  in  a  peculiar  trill 
which  no  one  can  imitate.  If  others  are  sparrows  and  feel 
the  Spring,  let  them  say  '  cheep,  cheep  '  and  be  done  with 
it.  I  like  that.  It  is  good  as  far  as  it  goes.  But  they 
try  to  go  further  and  make  ocarinas.  I  once  heard 
nn  ocarina  played  in  an  Earl's  Court  Exhibition,  and 
recognized  the  '  Spectator's '  minor  poet ;  just  a  bit  of 
mechanicism  in  a  shabby  arcade.  But  I  must  stop  here. 
— Your  loving  brother,  GEORGE. 


629 

To  his  Mother 

Wednesday,  July  Qth,  1907. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  feel  sure  I  can  dine  Thursday 
.and  shall  love  to.  At  3  o'clock  on  Thursday,  to-morrow 
afternoon,  we  have  a  little  ceremony  in  the  crypt  of  St. 
Paul's,  i.e.  handing  over  Rodin's  monument  of  dear 
Henley  formally  to  the  charge  of  the  Chapter. 

I  shall  have  to  make  a  little  speech — what  the  French 
xjall  '  eloge.' 

Lord  Plymouth  unveils  the  bust.  Do  come.  All 
friends  and  admirers  were  invited  by  Plymouth's  letter 
to  the  Press  and  by  notice  in  the  Press.  You  would  enjoy 
it  down  there  with  the  tombs  of  Nelson  and  Wellington, 
Poets  and  Musicians. — Your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 


232          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

630 
To  Mrs.  Drew 

July  Uth,  1907. 

Reading  Rodin  in  St.  Paul's  made  my  '  knees  chatter/ 
as  Pamela  says.  But  I  wanted  to  honour  my  dead  friend, 
and  succeeded,  more  or  less,  in  being  monumental  without 
being  sepulchral. 

'  The  promise  of  wistful  hills  '  is  Henley.  It  is  beautiful, 
'  Promise '  to  Henley  was  never  more  than  expectancy 
based  on  the  goodness  of  the  known  past  and  unlimited 
possibility  of  the  unknown  future.  He  saw  that  the 
naked  realities  of  life  were  good  :  Why,  then,  he  askedr 
should  not  the  vague,  iridescent  horizon  enfold  something 
better  to  be  perhaps  unfolded  ? 


631 

To  Philip  Hanson 


35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
18.vii.07. 


MY  DEAR  P.  H., — I  know  you  are  abroad.  But  I  indite 
these  few  lines  on  the  '  Preference  '  Vote  of  Censure. 

I  have  read  *  Bowley .'    He  merely  stimulates  my  curiosity, 

But,  even  if  it  were  satiated  after  30  years  of  investiga- 
tion, I  believe  that  capable  men  would  still  take  sides 
instinctively  either  for  (1)  a  Cosmopolitan  view,  supported 
by  the  idea  of  setting  an  example,  or  for  (2)  the  Imperial 
view,  supported  by  the  idea  of  fighting  for  more  freedom 
in  all  protected  markets,  and  getting  it  in  our  growing 
Colonial  markets. 

To  descend — abruptly — to  the  particular.  The  best 
speech  was  a  '  maiden  '  by  Simon,  a  Fellow  of  All  Souls 
and  barrister,  on  the  Government,  Free  Trade,  side.  It 
was  nearly  perfect ;  indeed,  perfect,  but  for  a  faint  touch 
of  the  '  superior  person.' 

Yet  he — and  this  is  interesting,  perhaps  significant — 
founded  his  best  attack  on  preference  (as  you  did  in  1903) 
on  the  incompatibility  of  varying  colonial  products,  sup* 


TO  LIEUT.-COL.  STEPHEN  FREWEN        233 

ported  by  ridicule  of  any  system  which  taxed  food,  with 
a  preference,  and  which  did  not  tax  raw  material.  Here 
he  was  excellent.  He  took  the  Australian  sheep — '  meat 
inside  and  wool  outside.' 

But  his  excellence — as  ever — suggested  retort. 

It  suggested — to  me — a  reply,  confined  to  the  concrete, 
as  per  invitation,  and  limited  to  a  contrast  of  Sheep  and 
Sugar  : — as  thus 

(i)  Sheep  and  sugar  are  alike  in  being,  each  of  them, 
both  food  and  raw  material  for  industry. 

(ii)  In  the  case  of  sheep  the  two  can  be — and  are — dis- 
criminated. The  sheep  is  meat  inside  and  wool  outside. 
But  the  two  come — as  a  rule — in  separate  ships,  to  wit, 
as  '  Canterbury  lamb  '  and  as  wool. 

Sugar,  per  contra,  though  soluble,  cannot  be  melted 
into  food  and  raw  material. 

(iii)  Both  contravene  the  postulate  that  it  is  inexpedient 
for  us  to  tax  food  and  raw  material. 

(iv)  But  in  the  case  of  sheep  you  can — if  you  choose — 
only  tax  food  ;  in  the  case  of  sugar,  if  you  tax  at  all,  you 
must  tax  both. 

(v)  In  the  case  of  sheep — taxing  only  food — you  can 
by  '  preference  '  do  a  deal  with  a  growing  market. 

In  the  case  of  sugar — taxing  both  food  and  raw  material 
— you  can  only  do  a  deal  with  Jamaica  and  are  debarred 
from  that  by  the  Convention. 

So  we  get  back  to  the  fundamental  dichotomy — Imperi- 
alism or  Cosmopolitanism,  with  this  further  observation, 
that  a  tax  on  meat,  with  preference,  falls  in  with  the  first, 
and  that  a  tax  on  sugar  does  not  fall  in  with  the  second, 
and  is  plainly  a  bad  tax  from  any  point  of  view. — Yours 
ever,  G.  W. 

632 

To  Lieul.-Col.  Stephen  Frewen 

HOUSE  OF  COMMONS, 
July  2CKA,  1907. 

DEAR  OLD  STE., — I  am  a  real  villain  in  having  left  you 
for  so  long  without  a  letter,  and  specially  one  after  your 


234          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

illness.  But  you  are  often  in  my  thoughts  and  Lady 
Grosvenor's,  and  we  are  often  talking  of  you  and  your  wife. 

I  pass  Tarvin  Sands,  hunting  and  with  Yeomanry,  and 
never  without  a  regret  for  old  happy  days.  The  old  days 
were  happier  both  for  good  soldiers  and  respectable 
politicians. 

I  put  in  my  share  of  the  work  on  Haldane's  Bill.  But 
we  are  a  feeble  folk  like  the  conies  in  the  Bible.  And 
this  Government  is,  at  once,  the  most  tyrannical  and  the 
most  incompetent  ever  known. 

My  chief  quarrel  with  them  (may  be  compared  to  yours 
with  the  present  W.  O.)  is  that  they  never  keep  a  pledge. 
The  old  idea  that  an  honourable  man  ought  to  stick  by 
what  he  says  and  fulfils  his  promises,  is  openly  abandoned. 
This  knocks  the  bottom  out  of  Political  and  Military  life. 
What  is  the  use  of  obtaining  pledges  in  Parliament  or 
earning  promises  of  employment  in  the  Army,  when  both 
are  given  merely  to  delay  and  deceive  ? 

I  agree  with  what  you  say  about  the  Army  as  a  profes- 
sion. Men  will  work  only  on  one  out  of  three  conditions  : 
for  (1)  a  market  salary,  or  (2)  prestige,  or  (3)  a  good  time. 

But  now  the  pay  of  an  officer  is  contemptible  by  com- 
parison with  the  emoluments  of  any  other  walk  in  life. 
So  far  from  prestige  being  accorded,  there  is  no  Under- 
secretary or  penny-a-liner  in  the  Press  so  obscure  as  not 
to  feel  at  liberty  to  scold  the  officers  of  the  British  Army, 
day  after  day  and  year  after  year,  as  if  they  were  mere 
encumbrances  to  the  State.  And,  as  for  a  good  time  ! — 
a  subaltern  now  has  to  do  the  combined  work  of  a  clerk, 
a  navvy  and  an  usher  in  a  school. 

But,  for  all  that,  I  am  glad  that  your  boy  is  joining. 
Percy  joined  the  Coldstreams  in  February  and  is  going 
strong.  He  was  beaten  only  by  a  neck  in  the  regimental 
Point-to-Point  within  three  weeks  of  joining ;  plays  in 
their  first  Polo  team  out  of  three  teams,  and  rows  for  them 
in  their  '  Eight.'  As  they  have  night  marches  most  nights, 
he  never  gets  to  bed. 

I  must  go  and  look  at  your  battle-picture.     But  you 


TO  PHILIP  HANSON  235 

must  not  think  of  giving  me  a  '  proof.'     I  will  get  one  and 
give  it  to  Guy. 

I  look  forward  to  riding  with  you  again  and  forgetting 
in  the  chase  all  the  cares  and  disappointments  of  middle 
age.  So  good  luck  and  my  love  to  you. — Yours  ever, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

633 

To  G.  K.  Chesterton 

HOUSE  OP  COMMONS, 
Aug.  2nd,  1907. 

MY  DEAR  MR.  CHESTERTON, — This  is  not  a  mere  invita- 
tion to  dine  here — of  all  places — and  at  short  notice,  viz  : 
on  Monday  next,  August  5th,  at  8  p.m. 

I  must  adopt  the  historic  method  to  persuade  you. 

Last  year,  when  feeling  ran  high  during  the  last  gasps 
of  the  Education  Bill,  Bob  Cecil  gave  a  dinner  here 
to  Masterman,  Jack  Seely,  Butcher,  Rawlinson  and 
myself. 

We  all  remember  it.  And  now  I  have  asked  the  other 
five.  All  have  said  '  yes,'  and  all  six  of  us  want  you,  if 
you  will,  to  come  too  and  make  the  mystic  seven. 

I  hope  you  can  manage  this. — Yours  very  sincerely, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

634 

To  Philip  Hanson 

35  PARK  LANE, 

The  Twelfth,  of  Pious  and  Immortal  Memory,  1907- 

MY  DEAR  P.  H., — You  are,  maybe,  hi  France ;  but  no 
matter.  This  is  to  thank  you  for  the  Bowley  book  of 
figures.  It  shall  be  guarded  and  returned.  I  spent  all 
to-day  at  Dover,  4  assisting  '  at  the  first  County  Match 
played  there — Kent  v.  Gloucester — on  the  Athletic  Ground. 
It  is  a  huge  success — nearly  8,000  people  yesterday  and, 
they  say,  more  to-day.  So  here  we  have  another  vindica- 


236          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

tion  of  ideas.  The  original  promoters  of  the  ground  lost 
their  £10,000.  The  Corporation  bought  for  £5,000,  and 
have  rated  the  people  for  upkeep.  The  people  murmured. 
Now  the  people  are  happy.  Everybody  would  have  been 
happy  long  ago  but  for  the  fact — always  to  be  remembered 
— that  it  takes  10  years  to  get  an  idea  into  the  head  of 
Englishmen. 

Incidentally  I  saw  Jessop  knock  up  74  in  no  time — an 
exhilarating  experience. 

In  10  years  my  Revenue  argument  will  begin  to  attract 
attention  as  a  paradox.  By  this  easy  transition  I  arrive 
at  the  Manchester  speech. 

It  is  fairly  well  reported  in  the  '  Guardian,'  and  got  a 
leader  in  that  intelligent — though  hostile — publication  ; 
but,  Lord  !  how  flat  it  fell !  The  conditions  were  of  the 
kind  that  almost  kill  me  :  a  long  journey,  a  reception  by 
uncongenial  persons  who  drank  whiskey  at  the  Club,  a 
show  drive — funereal — for  three  miles  up  an  East  wind 
to  Bellevue,  a  late  start,  a  large  audience — 4,000  they 
said,  almost  entirely  composed  of  many  women  and  a 
few  boys  in  a  large  auditorium  that  would  easily  hold 
10,000.  It  was  intolerable.  So  I  spoke  badly.  But  all 
the  bones  of  a  good  speech  are  in  the  '  Guardian  '  report, 
and  they  are  being  disinterred  from  day  to  day  in  news- 
papers and  by  Alfred  Lyttelton,  who  thought  it  novel 
and  excellent  and  proposes  to  reproduce  parts  in  his  Vote 
of  Censure.  But  to  me  it  was  a  strain. 

Per  contra  the  Henley  memorial  in  the  crypt  of  St. 
Paul's  was  the  best  I  have  yet  done.  I  was  horribly 
frightened  ;  had  to  read  a  long  MS.  in  French  by  Rodin, 
and  then  launch  out  on  my  own.  Yet  I  '  did  it  on  my 
head,'  giving  my  whole  philosophy  of  Life  and  Death, 
Art  and  Nature,  War  and  Peace,  France  and  England, 
within  the  compass  of  15  minutes  in  a  style  that  was 
monumental  without  being  sepulchral — and  this  in  a 
crypt !  Do  look  me  up  on  your  way  back  ! — Yours  ever, 

G.  W. 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  237 

635 

To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

SAIGHTON,  20th  August  1907. 

DARLING  PAMELA, — I  feel  inclined  to  write  to  you 
to-night,  but  not  of  the  '  Polo  Week  '  at  Eaton.  That 
is  past,  and  has  already  taken  its  place — a  small  one — 
in  the  perspective  of  Time.  Percy  played  well.  I  hurt 
my  leg,  not  even  at  polo,  but  at  racquets.  And  that  is 
all ;  and  enough,  of  such  pleasant,  and  unpleasant,  trifles. 

Hugh  Cecil  stayed  on  from  Saturday  till  to-day  and 
Mary  Drew  joined  us.  We  read  and  talked  gossip — com- 
parative ethics — as  the  late  Lord  Salisbury  had  it.  And 
we  cultivated  the  Muses.  Now  they  are  all  gone ;  I 
mean  the  guests,  not  the  Nine.  Though  Terpsichore  left 
last  Wednesday,  when  I  hurt  my  leg,  so  far  as  I  was  con- 
cerned, and  there  are  only  eight  little  muses  for  me. 

I  bought  a  book  the  other  day,  of  XVIIIth  Century 
children's  stories  ;  partly  because  you,  too,  emulate  de 
Genlis  ;  partly  because  some  of  them  are  called  '  Stories 
of  the  Wyndham  family.'  It  amuses  me.  The  Preface 
begins  '  To  publish  a  work  with  the  title  borne  by  this, 
may,  perhaps,  by  some,  be  thought  presumption,  when 
it  is  recollected  that  Madame  de  Genlis  has  already  occupied 
the  Dramatic  line,  in  a  manner  to  be  imitated  by  few,  and, 
probably,  to  be  equalled  by  none.'  Observe  her  commas  ! 
But  the  writer  is  modest  and  explains  : — *  This  short 
explanation  the  Authoress  thought  due  to  herself,  lest 
she  should  be  suspected  of  endeavouring  to  imitate  one 
of  the  first  Authors  the  Age  has  produced.'  Her  Dialogues, 
she  pleads,  should  '  be  considered  as  an  additional  barrier 
against  the  encroachment  of  error,  and  an  additional 
support  to  the  efforts  of  Virtue.'  With  a  nice  discrimina- 
tion '  Virtue  '  has  a  capital,  '  error,'  only  a  little  '  e.'  In 
conclusion,  she  trusts  them,  '  not  without  hope,  to  the 
<3andour  of  a  generous  Public,  who  at  least  will  give  her 
credit  for  purity  of  intention.'  The  name  of  '  Wyndham  ' 
is  taken — I  hope  not  in  vain,  but  still  taken.  And  Mr. 


238          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

Wyndham  plays  a  subsidiary  part  in  the  Dialogues  of  his 
offspring.  '  Mr.  Wyndham '  as  the  talented  authoress 
puts  it,  '  will  appear  in  a  more  amiable  light  as  their  father 
than  any  other.'  This  amuses  me,  and  there  are  two 
pleasant  engravings. 

But,  my  Dear !  how  different  it  all  is  from  ourselves  ; 
and  first  I  maintain  because  it  was  written  in  a  stirring 
Age,  and  we  live  in  dull  days  : — '  Age,'  with  a  capital '  A,r 
and  '  days  '  with  a  little  '  d.'  They  hardly  deserve  a  Big, 
Big  *  D.'  Tho'  they  are  very  annoying. 

What  with  my  lame  leg,  and  the  weather,  and  a  middle- 
aged  walk  round  the  garden,  and  the  receipt  of  a  volume 
of  verse  called  c  The  Robin's  Song,'  and  much  else  of  the 
like  order  ;  I  wrote  a  protest  last  night.  It  represents  a 
disillusion  which  I  ever  detected  in  August,  and  have 
lately  found  confirmed  by  a  Cheshire  August  and  Middle 
Age.  It  gives  a  mood,  but,  for  all  that,  an  aspect  of 
truth,  and  thus  it  goes  : — 


In  August  fields  there  are  no  wild-flowers, 
The  robin  sings  without  a  fellow. 

The  trees  are  dark  and  their  leaves  tired. 
All  the  meadows  are  shorn  and  yellow, 

The  hope  of  the  year  has  expired. 
The  robin  sings  alone  for  hours. 

Nothing  is  young,  and  nothing  mellow. 


ii 

Cart  wheels  creak  and  robins  sing. 

But  no  thrush  flutes  of  before  and  after. 

Rust  in  the  wood  and  dust  on  the  road 
Choke  defiance  and  love  and  laughter. 

Nothing  is  won.     All  has  been  shewed. 
There  are  no  mysteries  of  the  Spring, 
And  lofts  are  bare  from  floor  to  rafter. 

Your  devoted  brother,  GEORGE. 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  239 


636 

To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

ST.   PAGAN'S,  26th  August  1907. 

DARLING  PAM,1 — Your  letter  amused  me  very  much. 
It  is  lucky  I  can  crawl  out  of  the  discomfiture  of  your 
criticism  on  my  creaking  cart-wheels.  Permit  a  brief 
retort.  I  said  nothing  of  the  corn-fields,  if  for  no  other 
reason,  then  because  there  are  none  round  Saighton,  *  the 
meadows  are  shorn  and  yellow  '  observe  !  Summer  does 
say  *  it  is  finished  '  with  a  sense  of  satiety  and  rest.  I 
object  to  both ;  particularly  when  my  leg  is  lame  and  I 
am  afraid  of  getting  fat. 

I  will  come  to  you  if  I  can,  perhaps  third  week  of 
September,  perhaps  on  my  way  to  Perth  in  October,  for 
a  speech  on  the  18th. 

Punctuation  is  the  devil.  I  can  do  it  in  my  own  way. 
A  comma  means  that  something  is  omitted  which  would 
be  included  in  a  legal  document.  Except  in  a  legal  docu- 
ment we  never  rehearse  all  that  must  be  said  in  order  to 
avoid  any  ambiguity  of  interpretation.  They  ought  not 
to  be  used  to  indicate  rhythm. 

I  am  pickling  away  at  my  address  on  Sir  Walter  Scott. 
I  have  six  or  seven  things  to  say  about  him.  As  an  address 
is  delivered  each  year  it  is  unnecessary  to  repeat  the 
obvious.  I  shall  avoid  the  '  good  Sir  Walter '  business. 
Except,  perhaps,  just  to  note  that  his  works  gain  a  re- 
flected charm  from  our  knowledge  of  a  personality  which 
he  was  at  such  pains  to  dissemble.  I  am  very  vague  at 
present.  Probably  the  essay  will  form  round  two  aspects. 
I.  His  Art.  He  was  a  romantic.  That  is  how  he  saw 
things  and  said  them — this,  with  all  pertinent  comparisons 
and  contrasts,  etc.  The  romantic  revival  in  England  and 
France.  Here  I  am  on  my  native  heath. 

1  On  receipt  of  the  previous  letter  his  sister  had  chaffingly  written  the  follow- 
ing criticism  :  '  Why  did  the  cart  wheels  creak  when  the  carts  were  so  empty  ? 
The  poet  tells  us  "The  lofts  were  bare  from  floor  to  rafter."  What  had  happened 
to  the  harvest?" 


240          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

II.  His  meaning.  What  was  it  that  he  saw  and  said  ? 
So  I  lead  up  to  the  last  motif,  which  is  Reconciliation — 
reconciliation  of  Highlands  to  Lowlands ;  of  England  to 
Scotland  ;  of  Jacobite  to  Hanoverian  ;  of  servant  to 
master  ;  of  the  present  with  the  past. 

I  sketched  a  conclusion  on  those  lines  which  may  do. 
In  any  case,  it  is  well  to  have  a  goal  to  work  up  to.  In 
getting  there  one  may  diverge  to  another  and  a  better 
goal.  But  here  is  my  sketch  of  the  end  : — 

By  these  reconciliations,  by  searching  for  recondite 
chords  of  human  experience,  he  feels  his  way  towards  the 
supreme  reconciliation  of  man  to  man's  fate.  His 
'  diapason  closes  full  on  man.'  This  is  the  work,  often 
unconscious,  of  great  masters.  But  for  their  magical 
counterpoint  the  present  would  be  all  to  each  of  us  ;  '  an 
apex,'  Pater  calls  it, '  between  two  hypothetical  eternities  ' ; 
— a  masked  note,  so  poignant  that  it  pierces.  All  this  has 
been  said,  better  than  I  can  say  it.  Only  the  other  day  a 
friend  pointed  out  to  me  this  phrase  in  Lander's  '  Imaginary 
Conversations,'  *  the  present,  like  a  note  in  music,  is 
nothing  but  as  it  appertains  to  what  is  past  and  what  is 
to  come.'  But  how  few  among  writers,  Classic,  Romantic, 
or  Realist,  have  known  this,  and  shewn  it. 

Walter  Scott  is  of  those  few.  He  extracted  secrets 
from  oblivion  so  to  endow  what  is  with  the  charm  of  what 
has  been,  and  to  put  us  in  case  to  expect  the  future.  He 
strikes  a  full  chord  upon  the  keys  of  Time.  It  is  only  the 
greatest  musicians  of  humanity  who  thus  enrich  the 
present  by  fealty  to  the  past  and  make  it  a  herald  of 
eternal  harmonies. 

637 

To  his  Mother 

ST.  PAGAN'S  CASTLE, 
CARDIFF,  August  28th,  1907. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  love  your  birthday  letter. 
We  had  a  wonderful  expedition  to  Caldey  Island.  Some 
of  Sibell's  friends  have  started — or  re-started — there  a 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  241 

monastery  of  Benedictines  ;  but  Anglican,  not  Roman. 
I  had  read  of  it  in  one  of  her  books,  and  found  it  was  off 
Tenby,  between  ninety  and  one  hundred  miles  from  here. 

So  she,  Gay  1  and  I  set  out  at  a  quarter  to  nine  yesterday 
in  the  motor.  S.  S.  had  written  to  the  Abbot  and  the 
Island  was  reported  to  be  at  no  great  distance  from  the 
shore.  We  ate  some  sandwiches  in  a  field  by  a  little 
brook  between  wooded  cliffs  between  Coermarten  and 
Tenby  and  reached  Tenby  at  a  quarter  to  2  o'clock.  The 
Abbot  owns  the  Island  and  a  little  steamer  which  we  were 
told  was  to  start  at  2  o'clock.  We  did  not  get  under  way 
till  2.30.  The  day  was  divine,  sea  sky-blue  and  many 
medusae  pulsating  past  us.  Tenby  is  like  an  Italian  town 
and  the  scenery  is  lovely. 

As  we  drew  near  the  Island  we  saw  the  Abbot  in  his 
white  and  black  habit  waiting  to  receive  us  on  the  sand. 
The  tide  was  out.  We  had  to  get  into  a  little  row-boat 
and  be  carried  out  of  that  by  two  sailors  apiece. 

Then  we  made  the  '  tour  de  proprietaire  '  with  the  Abbot 
who  was  delightful.  There  were  monks  there  for  over  a 
1000  years  down  to  the  dissolution  of  the  monasteries — 
first  Celtic  and  then  Benedictines. 

The  beach  is  grown  over  with  long  dried  grass — as  in 
our  Costa  picture.  Sea-thistles  were  lovely,  beyond  are 
low  cliffs,  pine-woods,  and  sycamores  growing  thick  up 
a  chine  to  the  old  monastery. 

On  one  cliff  is  a  9th  century  Watch  Tower  against 
pirates  and  further  on  a  7th  century  church.  The  remains 
of  the  old  monastery  are  now  surrounded  by  farm  build- 
ings but  there  are  good  13th  century  bits  and  a  carved 
stone  of  the  6th  century,  with  inscriptions  in  Latin  and 
Celtic,  asking  all  to  pray  for  the  soul  of  somebody  '  the 
son  of  the  otter '  !  We  did  not  disembark  till  5.30,  and 
only  got  back,  after  wonderful  sunset  and  moon-rise  at 
a  quarter  to  ten  o'clock. 

I  want  to  come  and  ride  at  Clouds  very  much.  But  I 
fear  it  must  be  a  little  later.  I  have  a  vague  idea  that 
you  have  said  you  will  be  away  the  third  week  in  September 

1  Lady  Plymouth. 
VOL.  II.  Q 


242          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

Anyhow  I  am  away  the  week  beginning  the  23rd  September. 
We  shall  stay  at  Saighton  till  S.  S.  goes  to  Leffy  on  15th 
September.  So  I  might  come  on  the  15th  or  on  the  28th 
for  a  day  or  two  and  bring  you  on  with  me  to  Saighton. 
Or  both  !  Phyllis  1  and  Gay  would  perhaps  like  to  ride, 
but  they  could  only  come  28th  or  30th,  just  for  two  days. 
Anyhow,  you  and  Papa  come  to  us  early  in  October  and 
I  would  not  shorten  your  visit.  We  go  North  on  the 
17th  of  October. 

All  love  to  you  darling. — Your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

638 
To  Mrs.  Drew 

August  28th,  1907. 

.  .  .  We  went  with  motor  all  the  way,  more  than  90 
miles,  to  Tenby,  and  then  took  the  Abbot's  little  steamer 
and  set  out  to  sea  for  Caldey  Island,  to  visit  the  Benedictine 
Monastery  that  is  being  revived  there  by  Dom  Aelred 
Carlyle.  It  was  a  divine  day,  the  sea  was  sky-blue  and 
the  scenery  wonderful.  As  we  approached  the  shore,  we 
could  see  the  Abbot  in  his  black  and  white  habit  awaiting 
us  on  the  sand.  The  tide  was  out,  and  we  were  carried 
ashore  by  two  sailors.  The  Abbot  was  perfect,  and  all 
he  is  doing  is  right.  He  first  showed  us  the  Guest  House, 
built  of  their  own  stone,  for  there  are  rocky  cliffs  on  the 
Island.  Near  it,  on  a  knoll,  is  a  9th  Century  tower  built 
by  the  old  Monks  to  look  out  for  pirates.  Further  back 
is  a  7th  Century  Church.  The  Monks  were  there  for  more 
than  1000  years,  first  Celtic  and  then  Benedictine.  The 
Church  is  two  cubes  of  stone  with  a  Celtic  arch  between. 
Then  we  saw  two  of  the  Brothers  at  work  in  a  long  row 
of  white  cottages,  red -roofed,  which  are  to  be  let  to  mothers, 
relations  and  friends  of  the  Monks.  The  new  Monastery 
is  to  be  built  on  a  height  near  a  pinewood.  We  had  tea 
with  the  Abbot's  Mother  and  went  into  the  old  Monastery 
buildings.  The  Chapel  is  13th  Century.  It  was  excavated 
out  of  the  ground  and  there  is  the  old  13th  Century  Gate- 

1  Lady  Phyllis  Clive. 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  243 

house  and  Dovecot.  There  they  dug  up  a  strange  stone 
inscribed  in  Latin  and  Celtic  of  the  6th  Century,  asking 
our  prayers  for  the  soul  of  '  the  son  of  the  otter.'  The 
old  fish-ponds  are  there  and  the  carp  are  in  them  still. 

The  Abbot  walked  us  down  to  embark,  looking  exactly 
like  a  14th  Century  picture  with  his  tonsured  head  against 
the  Mantegna  rocks.  He  blessed  us  as  we  took  leave  ; 
after  a  brilliant  sunset  and  magical  moonrise,  we  got  back 
at  9.45.  The  simplicity  of  the  new  buildings  and  the 
mystery  of  the  old  are  beyond  admiration.  It  is  a  perfect 
thing. 

639 

To  his  Mother 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  September  Qth,  1907. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  hope  '  no  more  visits  '  does 
not  mean  that  you  and  Papa  are  not  coming  here  in 
October.     I  shall  come  to  you  about  the  27th  of  September 
for  some  rides — anyhow.     And  perhaps — only  perhaps — 
for  a  day  or  two  next  week.     But  I  fear  not.     I  am  hard 
at  it  on  Walter  Scott  and  arranging  book,  and  papers  for 
political  campaign.     It  will  be  a  bit  of  a  miracle  if  I  can 
get  away  and  serenity  during  the  Autumn  will  depend  on 
having  finished  Walter  Scott  and  laid  a  solid  foundation 
for  speeches  in  the  course  of  the  next  fortnight.     It  is  the 
only  clear  tune  I  shall  have  till  the  13th  of  December.     I 
want  to  think,-  and  read,  and  arrange  my  subjects.     I  am 
very  happy  over  Sir  Walter.     It  does  one  good  to  live  in 
his  company,  as  I  am.     I  have  read  again  the  four  volumes, 
of  his  Journal  two,   and  of  letters  two,   and   skimmed 
Lockhart  and  plunged  into  the  period  in  England,  Scot- 
land and  France.     The  little  address  will  be  a  '  ridiculous 
mouse  '  from  such  a  '  mountain.'     But  the  task  has  given 
excuse  and  energy  for  reading  all  my  old  loves,  Shelley, 
Keats,   right  through — bits  of  Byron,   and  he  is  much 
better  as  one  gets  older ;   early  Victor  Hugo  and  his  pre- 
faces  which   are   excellent   as   e.g.    '  Revolutions   change 


244          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

everything  except  the  human  heart.'  That  knocks  out 
the  socialists  except  as  barren  rascals  and  disturbers  of 
humanity ;  mere  mules — '  without  pride  of  ancestry  or 
hope  of  posterity.'  I  am  also  at  Jane  Austen  and  Peacock 
and  Raleigh's  '  History  of  the  English  Novel '  and  Nassau 
Senior's  criticisms  in  the  '  Quarterly  '  on  the  '  Waverleys  ' 
as  they  appeared.  '  How  it  strikes  a  Contemporary ' 
may  give  me  a  good  start.  I  think  I  shall  bring  in  Papa's 
governess  being  run  away  with  into  the  laurels  at  Petworth 
whilst  reading  '  Marmion  '  to  illustrate  the  vogue. 

Jack  Mackail  sent  me  an  excellent  lecture  of  his  on 
William  Morris  and  his  circle  '  and  that  goes  in  too.'  '  Put 
it  in  the  bag '  as  we  used  to  say  with  the  clown  in  the 
Pantomime,  Robinson  Crusoe.  Walter  Scott  worked  in 
that  way,  sticking  all  that  came  along  into  his  work. 

But  what  giants  they  were ;  and  how  degenerate  are 
these  days  !  It  is  wonderful  to  think  of  1814, — Napoleon's 
last  great  campaign — '  Waverley '  an  anonymous  novel 
in  a  sea-side  book  box — Byron  blazing.  Even  the  prices 
make  one  jump,  £3000  for  '  Lady  of  the  Lake  '  and  £3000 
for  'Lalla  Rookh,'  and  £8000  for  'Woodstock,'  and 
£12,000  for  the  '  Life  of  Napoleon.' 

I  was  offered  £1000  the  day  before  yesterday  to  begin 
a  short  History  of  England.  But  I  am  married  to  that 
cursed  shrew — Politics,  and  must  say  '  No.'  I  should  be 
more  '  healthy,  wealthy  and  wise  '  if  she  died  and  I  married 
her  sister,  Literature,  in  spite  of  the  Bishops. 

And  consider  the  marvellous  year  1820 — two  novels 
from  Scott ;  some  of  the  best  Shelley — all  the  best  of 
Keats — some  Coleridge,  third  Canto  of  '  Childe  Harold,' 
and  now,  Bernard  Shaw  ! — Your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

P.S. — My  reference  to  MackaiPs  lecture  is  too  brief  to 
be  intelligible.  I  mean  something  like  this — Walter  Scott 
the  greatest  force  in  the  Romantic  Movement ;  that 
Movement  the  mother  of  the  Oxford  Movement ;  and  that 
Movement — at  least — the  aunt  of  the  Morris'  Movement. 
And  there  are  now  no  movements  :  only  stagnation.  We 


TO  PHILIP  HANSON  245 

live  in  a  phase  of  indolent  mediocrity.  I  remember  the 
seventies  and  eighties  and  declare  that  this  is  Autumn  ; 
but  an  Autumn  of  more  mist  than  usual  and  no  mellow 
fruit.  This  is  a  parable.  There  is  so  much  mist,  so  little 
fruit,  such  a  portentous  quietness,  that  some  people  think 
that  this  is  no  usual  Autumn  at  all,  but  the  dull  blight 
that  broods  before  an  earthquake. 

For  my  part — as  an  optimist — I  hope  it  is  merely 
Autumn,  with  rottenness  dripping  through  fogs,  only 
more  so.  I  am  still  disposed  to  sing,  '  If  Winter  come, 
can  Spring  be  far  behind.'  But  we  want  a  '  West  Wind  ' 
badly. 


640 

To  Philip  Hanson 


35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
17.ix.07. 


MY  DEAR  P.  H., — I  wish  it  had  been  possible  for  you 
to  look  in  at  Saighton  during  these  last  glorious  days  of 
sunshine.  Lady  Grosvenor  went  to  Lady  Beauchamp 
yesterday  to  welcome  another  grandchild,  and  I  came 
here  to  have  my  leg  electrified.  To-morrow  I  go  to 
Derwent,  then  Hornby  Castle,  then  Clouds,  on  Thursday 
or  Friday  next  week.  I  am  writing  after  a  day  of  happy 
solitude  in  a  London,  neither  swept  nor  garnished,  but 
empty  and  exhilarated  by  serene  September  sunlight.  I 
feel  brisk.  And  the  feeling,  long  lost,  chimes  with  the 
outward  aspect  and  reminds  me  of  early  days  at  the  W.  O. 
in  '98  and  '99.  So  my  thoughts  turn  to  you. 

I  have  '  broken  the  back '  of  my  address  on  '  Walter 
Scott '  :  written  the  first  half  and  the  end  and  sketched 
the  rest  of  the  second  half.  This  has  given  me  stimulus 
and  excuse  for  wide  reading  over  1798-1832.  What  a 
time !  Napoleon,  Wellington,  Pitt,  Canning,  Goethe, 
Victor  Hugo,  Byron,  Scott — and  meanwhile  such  quin- 
tennial  flowers  as  Keats  and  Shelley  blossoming  unseen. 

And  here  we  are,  rather  '  now  '  we  are,  still  unravelling 
the  meaning  of  the  so-called  Romantic  Revival.  I  see 
Politics  by  the  light  of  Art. 


246          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

If  I  do  see  anything,  I  see  that  they — the  '  makers  '  in 
Politics  or  Poetry  were  puzzled  by  a  mistaken,  and  false, 
antagonism  between  the  '  Classic  '  and  '  Romantic.'  I 
see  that  the  '  Classic  '  is  not  an  original,  or  primary,  mode 
of  the  mind's  energy  to  express  the  need  of  the  heart. 
There  are  two  original  modes,  the  Romantic  and  Realist, 
based  respectively  on  imagination  and  observation.  Either, 
or  both,  become  '  Classic.'  But  that  is  a  secondary  mode 
of  either.  You  choose  and  polish  your  imagination  or 
your  observation,  until  the  element  of  Wonder  disappears 
from  your  image  of  life.  The  *  Classic  '  becomes  a  statue 
at  Chatsworth  :  the  Realistic  a  clerk  at  his  desk. 

Then  the  passion  for  Wonder  revives  in  man  the 
wonderer.  And  the  little  try  to  gratify  it  for  pence.  The 
school  of  Horror  substitutes  a  Hobgoblin  for  the  statue. 
The  school  of  Scandal  substitutes  a  Profligate  for  the 
clerk.  Each  tries  to  tickle  or  shock. 

Scott's  huge  performance  was  to  hark  back  to  first 
springs.  He  was  lucky,  like  all  conquerors.  He  happened 
to  have  read  and  liked  the  old  Romances — and  imitated 
them.  He  happened  to  have  read  and  understood  the 
new  Realists — and  analysed  Defoe. 

Then — and  that  is  the  supreme  thing  which  he  did — he 
merged  the  two  in  Waverley,  anno  1814.  He  canalised 
the  welter  of  cross-currents  and  drew  off  the  power  in  a 
stream  of  literary  energy  which  turned  the  mills  of  the 
Oxford  Movement,  the  Young  England  Movement,  and, 
last  of  all,  the  Morris-Rossetti  Movement.  Keats  and 
Shelley  were  beautiful  flowers  that  grew  by  the  brim  : 
Hugo  and  Byron,  tumultuous  currents,  deep  or  surface, 
that  never  got  out  of  the  whirlpool.  He  did  in  Literature 
what  Disraeli  meant  to  do  in  Politics. 

The  literary  stream  is  now  almost  lost  in  sand.  The 
Political  stream  never  was  canalised.  Napoleon  nearly 
did  it  for  the  Continent.  Here,  in  our  Island,  Canning 
died  ;  Wellington  became  '  The  Duke  ' ;  and  Disraeli 
...  I  can't  finish  this  sentence  because  I  don't  know 
what  exactly  happened  to  him.  He  would  have  rounded 
it  off  with  an  epigram.  But  there  is  nothing  epigram- 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  247 

matic  about  a  man  who  starts  with  observing  British 
institutions :  the  Peerage,  the  Church,  the  Gentry, 
Labour  ;  and  imagining  World  History  in  terms  of  Oriental 
Empire  ;  who  despises  the  first  and  postpones  the  second  ; 
and  ends  by  becoming  the  senile  slave  of  both. 

It  is  odd  that  *  Joe,'  with  acute  observation  in  a  succes- 
sion of  limited  fields,  and  impulse  as  a  '  substitute  for 
imagination,'  still  went  so  much  nearer  combining  observa- 
tion and  imagination  than  Balfour  or  even  Gladstone — 
that  many  have  a  soft  place  in  their  heart  for  him — as 
they  had  for  Randolph. 

But  that — the  coupling  of  imagination  and  observa- 
tion, those  two  engines  of  the  mind  to  minister  to  the 
needs  of  the  heart,  is  the  job  of  our  political  giant ;  when 
we  get  him. 

Meanwhile,  it  is  meanwhile  :  a  long  while  and  very 
mean. 

If  only  poets  would  sing,  meanwhile  !  But  they  never 
do,  any  more  than  birds,  in  a  mist  which  optimists,  like 
myself,  declare  to  be  mere  mists  of  Autumn,  heralds  of 
Winter's  lean  alacrity,  and  Spring's  exuberance :  and 
pessimists  declare  to  be  abnormal  vapours  brooding  before 
an  earthquake.  '  The  sedge  is  withered  from  the  lake 
and  no  birds  sing.' 

Indeed,  a  writer  in  the  '  Outlook '  maintains  that  birds- 
poets — will  never  sing  again.  He  is  chronicling  the  death 
of  Sully-Prudhomme  as  the  last  of  those  birds.  This, 
says  he,  is  a  *  practical '  age.  But  what  '  in  the  name  of 
glory  '  do  we  practise  ? — Yours  ever, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

641 

To  his  Mother 

HORNBY  CASTLE, 
BEDALE,  YORKSHIRE,  September  2Srd,  1907. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — S.  S.  sent  me  your  letter.  I 
a,m  glad  that  you  are  not  anxious  about  Robert 1  and 

1  His  nephew,  Robert  Adeane. 


248         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

delighted  to  hear  that  Papa  is  much  better.  Give  him 
my  love.  I  hope  to  get  to  you  before  Saturday  and  will 
let  you  know.  I  am  sending  two  horses  to  Clouds  on 
Thursday  or  Wednesday.  Perf 's  leave  begins  on  October 
1st,  so  I  want  him  to  come  to  Clouds  and  ride  about  with 
me.  I  hope  that  Gay  and  Phyllis  will  come  to  ride  on 
Monday.  I  am  hard  at  old  Sir  Walter  Scott  and  at 
politics — with  a  small  travelling  library.  There  are 
interesting  books  here,  specially  a  beautiful  illuminated 
4  Roman  de  la  Rose  '  MS.  of  about  1450,  bound  in  old 
cramoisie  velvet  with  letters  pounced  alternately  on  the 
outside  covers.  When  you  find  out  how  to  read  them, 
they  spell  this  : — see  below, 

A  O  R  M  U  R 

ER  G  E 

T  E  I  D  S  R 

E  P  SO 

I  E  D  R  T  O 

U  T  BE 

that  is  Amour  Regret  Desir  Espoir  et  Doubte. 

I  hope  to  be  with  you  Friday,  at  latest ;  perhaps 
Thursday. — Your  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

642 

To  Charles  Whibley 

CLOUDS, 
EAST  KNOYLE,  4th  October  1907- 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — I  have  corrected  a  few  '  literals  '  in 
the  proof  herewith  returned.  It  omits  a  passage  which  I 
cannot  recall.  But  it  is  an  excellent  report. 

I  am  well.  I  wish  that  we  met  more  often.  This 
autumn  I  '  addict '  myself  to  Politics,  beginning  at  Perth, 
on  October  18th,  and  continuing  at  Hexham,  Birmingham, 
Dover,  Manchester,  York  and  Leicester,  not  to  mention 
an  address  on  Walter  Scott  at  Edinburgh. 

I  do  this  from  a  sense  of  duty.  The  Gentry  of  England 
must  not  abdicate.  But  I  have  little  belief  in  the  use- 
fulness of  platform  discourse.  Nothing  will  serve  but 


TO  WILFRID  WARD  249 

terror  of  Germany  and  a  further  collapse  in  Funds  at  the 
prospect  of  Socialism. 

Something  might  be  done  with  the  pen.  A  '  tongue 
with  a  tang '  will  not  convince  those  who  like  to  be 
scratched  where'er  they  do  itch. 

Still  I  must  '  tang  '  away,  on  the  off-chance  that  the 
English  do  not  wish  to  be  relieved  of  all  responsibility — 
and  liberty. — Yours  ever,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

643 

To  Mrs.  Drew 

CLOUDS,  October  6th,  1907. 

.  .  .  The  gloom  of  impending  speeches  begins  to  descend 
on  my  heart.  I  mean  political  speeches — I  like  the 
others.  But  political  speeches,  and  in  Scotland,  is  almost 
more  than  I  can  bear.  It  is  no  consolation  that 
everybody  on  all  sides — Government,  Opposition,  Irish, 
Noncons.,  Labour,  Protectionists,  Free  Traders,  Individu- 
alists, Socialists,  Churchmen,  Temperance  Advocates, 
Brewers,  Soldiers,  Sailors,  Railway  Employees,  Directors, 
Bankers,  '  Uncle  Tom  Codley  and  all  and  all ' — seem 
equally  disgusted  with  things  in  general,  except  C.  B.1 
He  '  sits  on  a  stile  and  continues  to  smile  '  . 


644 

To  Wilfrid  Ward 

36  PARK  LANE,  W., 

October  10th,  1907. 

MY  DEAR  WILFRID, — If  I  do  not  answer  your  letter 
now  I  doubt  doing  so  for  many  days.  I  have  a  very 
heavy  political  programme  before  me  which  will  tax  my 
time  and  vitality. 

So  I  give  you  an  '  Ave  Caesar  '  :  not  that  I  expect  to 
die  in  the  arena  but  that  I  am  certain  to  be  swallowed  by 
its  dust,  for  many  days. 

I  took  your  letter  with  me  to  Dover  yesterday  and  am 

1  Sir  Henry  Campbell-Bannerman. 


250          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

off  north  to-morrow.  May  I  say  that  it  needed  careful 
deciphering  ?  What  has  become  of  your  type-writer  ? 

Though  too  absorbed  to  exchange  written  signals  of 
Amity,  I  have  followed  the  Encyclical  with  a  personal, 
almost  poignant,  interest  in  its  relation  to  yourself.  I 
half  guessed  that  all  the  arrows  were  not  drawn  at 
a  venture. 

The  '  crux '  is  that  every  shot  at  you  is  a  shot  at  New- 
man, and  a  shot  at  all  that  his  apologetics  and  reconcilia- 
tions have  meant,  not  only  to  you  and  yours,  but  to 
others,  including  myself. 

It  is  a  bad  business.  Rather  I  ought  to  say  a  '  tragic  ' 
business.  And,  having  said  that,  I  ought  to  add  that 
Tragedy  is  the  note  of  man's  endeavour  to  comprehend 
the  Divine ;  just  as  it  was  the  note  of  the  Divine's  con- 
descension to  penetrate  man's  intelligence  through  his 
sympathy. 

But  you  are  more  happy  than  any  non-Catholic  can  be. 
For  you  are  instructed  in  the  necessity  of  waiting  and 
drilled  to  support  the  waiting  with  patience.  You  are 
an  Army  with  Generals  who  may  be  dilatory,  or  retro- 
grade. We  are  a  mob,  with  individuals  who  may  be 
brilliant  and  impulsive.  Still,  when  your  Army  moves, 
it  moves  as  a  whole.  And  that  is  much ;  perhaps  all. 
For  what  else  are  the  '  saecula  sseculorum  '  ? 

To  alter  my  image  : — the  complement  of  4  securus 
judicat  orbis  terrarum,'  is,  that  the  mountain-tops  are 
not  to  shout  when  tipped  with  the  rosy  light  of  Dawn. 
But,  rather,  to  be  still  in  hush'd  altitudes  till  the  darkest 
valleys  are  steeped  by  noon-day. 

To  compare  small  things  with  great — you  cannot  guess 
how  difficult  the  4  Protestantism '  of  Britain  makes 
Politics. 

Any  man  who  sees  starts  on  his  -ism  ;  his  Socialism 
or  his  Individualism,  his  Imperialism  or  his  Cosmopoli- 
tanism. Each  one  who  sees  has  his  point  of  view  and  his 
focus  of  vision. 

But  very  few  see.  Still  fewer  see  together.  And  the 
multitude,  who  don't  see,  are  distracted  by  the  dissen- 


TO  CHARLES  BOYD  251 

sions  of  confident  seers.     The  '  Genus  irritabile  vatum  ' 
becomes  more  irritable  ;  the  herd,  more  lethargic. 

Pisgah  is  the  peak  from  which  one  man  in  isolation  sees 
the  promised  land.  The  others  wander  and  halt  and 
retire  and  advance  and  grumble  and  rebel,  in  a  crowd 
with  all  its  drawbacks.  But,  in  a  crowd,  they  get  to  the 
Promised  Land,  at  last. 

What  an  intolerable  Apologue  I  have  inflicted  !  It 
only  means  that  I  should  be  content  with  a  hush'd  alti- 
tude at  Dawn  if  I  were  sure  of  the  sun  at  Noon.  I  should 
not  fret  over  the  creeping  shadows. — Yours  ever, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

645 

To  Charles  Boyd 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  14.x. 07. 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — Many  thanks  for  a  most  oppor- 
tune letter  on  Socialism,  and  for  another  opportune  in  all 
but  my  lack  of  leisure  to  reply. 

I  agree  that  wild  hitting  is  worse  than  useless.  But  I 
am  sure  that  some  hitting  there  must  be. 

I  am  off  to  Perth  for  an  orgy  of  speaking,  and  on  to 
other  places  for  the  same. 

I  mean,  at  the  risk  of  boring  my  audience  and  failing 
completely,  to  tackle  Socialism  and  all  the  -isms.  My 
chain  of  thought  is 

(1)  Individualism — the  real  Cobdenite  theory  to  which 
Lord  B.  of  B.1  asks  me  to  revert, — 

Ignored  the  State.  Pretended  the  world  was,  or 
would  be  cosmopolitan,  which  it  is  not  and  will  not  be. 

Asserted  Capital  would  go  anywhere,  which  is  true — 
too  true  ! — and  that  Labour  would  follow,  which  is  false. 

Under  that  system,  even  as  it  is,  we  have  Cosmopolitan 
Capital  and  '  Stranded  '  Labour. 

(2)  Hence  the  demand  for  Socialism. 

But  that  is  out  of  the  frying-pan  into  the  fire. 

1  Lord  Balfour  of  Burleigh. 


252          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

Criticism  of  Socialism. 

But  there  is  a  great  Problem.  Penury — over-popu- 
lation, depopulation,  unemployment.  To  defeat  false 
remedy  and  find  a  true  one,  we  need  a  Policy  based  on 
Principle  and  supported  by  a  united  Party. 

(3)  Is  that  to  be  found  in  Government  ? 
Obviously  not. 

(4)  In  Unionism  ?  yes. 

It  grasps  the  reality  of  the  '  State  '  in  all  its  bearings ;  in 
its  external  relations  and,  not  less,  in  its  relations  to  the 
Individual,  not  as  an  individual  in  a  cosmopolitan  world, 
but  as  a  citizen  of  the  State. 

And  for  this  must  accept  legitimate  development  of 
Unionist  Principles,  i.e.  Tariff  Reform. 

Them  's  my  sentiments. — Yours  ever,  G.  W. 

646 

To  Charles  T.  Gaily 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  23.x.  07. 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — I  have  just  seen  a  characteristic 
letter  from  the  Honble  P.1  to  Percy.  It  begins  simply 
and  suddenly  as  follows  : — 

4  MY  DEAR  PERF, — There  are  3  things  which  I  hope  you 
will  not  do  : 

(1)  Become  a  Roman  Catholic ;  (2)  Marry  an  American 

girl; 
(3)  Go  into  the  House  of  Commons.' 

Certainly  there  is  much  to  be  said  against  Politics. 

I  hope  you  are  not  tiring  yourself  out  over  Industries. 
I  got  back  here,  with  Sibell,  this  afternoon  and  walked 
back  most  of  the  way  from  Chester.  After  a  fortnight's 
politics  it  was  refreshing  to  see  Percy  come  in  from  hunt- 
ing without  a  care. 

I  hope  to  hunt  next  week  till  Friday,  when  I  go  to 
Edinburgh  to  talk  about  Walter  Scott. — Yours  ever, 

G.  W. 

1  His  father. 


TO  CHARLES  T.  GATTY  253 

647 

To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  30th  October  1907. 

BELOVED  PAMELO, — I  found  your  book  x  here  Monday 
and  have  read  it  all.  It  is  very  good.  The  structure 
works  out  well.  The  conclusion  is  excellent,  and  must 
have  been  very  difficult.  What  a  lot  you  have  put  into 
it  and  what  a  lot  of  yourself.  I  think  it  is  a  little  classic  ; 
not  that  it  is  little  in  size  !  I  long  to  hear  of  the  reviews. 
But  I  cannot  review  it  in  a  letter  to  you.  It  is  very  alle- 
gorical to  me  ;  full  of  deep  sayings  that  find  an  echo. 
The  lively  bits  of  observation,  the  phrases  clean-cut  and 
polished,  the  quips  and  cranks  are  all  needed  to  prevent 
the  deep  sayings  from  sounding  too  sad.  But  they  are 
all  there  to  amuse  and  soothe  and  delight.  That  is  the 
office  of  Art  to  mankind,  they  are  like  the  twisted  ropes 
of  flowering  creepers  used  in  some  lands  for  bridges  over 
rivers  in  chasms.  In  any  true  work  of  Art  we  need  both 
the  bridges  and  the  chasms.  And  for  all  the  grace  of 
your  garland-bridges  I  can  hear  the  '  muffled  tremulous 
roar.'  Sometimes  the  chasms  of  hopes  that  fail,  and  love, 
and  departing  youth  in  all  around,  yawn  below  one. 
They  cannot  be  bridged  by  Politics. — Your  devoted 
brother,  GEORGE. 

648 
To  Charles  T.  Gatty 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  2.xi.07. 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — A  thousand  thanks  for  the  photo- 
graph of  the  Picture.  I  like  it  better  than  the  Picture. 
Also — as  they  say  in  Germany — I  hold  you  to  the  promise 
of  a  visit  before,  or  after,  Christmas. 

You  will  marvel  at  the  excavations  which  Sibell  and  the 

1  'The  Children  and  the  Pictures,'  published  by  William  Heinemann. 


254          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

gardener  have  made  at  the  entrance  here  on  the  left  after 
coming  in  by  the  gate.  It  was  a  bank  thickly  crowded 
with  shrubs.  But — and  here  is  the  point — the  wall  which 
you  remember  on  the  top  of  the  rock  along  the  road  from 
Chester  outside,  turns  sharp  to  the  left  at  the  gate  and 
runs  along  the  top  of  the  live  rock  inside.  Well,  we  have 
excavated  and  disclosed  both,  leaving  three  bastions, 
revetted  with  stone,  to  retain  the  best  of  the  flowering  trees, 
as  lilac,  cornel  and  maple.  This  enhances  the  '  rock  and 
fortress  '  note  of  the  ancient  Abbots'  country  seat. 

The  work  reminded  me  of  old  days  along  the  '  Abbot's 
Walk,'  and  lends  force  to  my  insistence  on  a  visit  from 
you.  I  understand  the  weariness  of  your  enterprise.  So 
am  I  weary  to  death  of  my  politics.  All  the  more  reason 
is  there  for  re-affirming  old  days  and  old  ways.  One 
phrase  of  Walter  Scott  struck  me  hard.  He  is  writing 
to  one  of  a  band  of  early  companions,  and  speaks  of  the 
others  as  *  all  now  sequestered  or  squandered.'  So  it 
is.  Some  go  to  the  Empire's  extremities  and  others  toil 
in  tunnels  at  home. 

And  now  I  must  toil.  '  Man  goeth  forth  to  his  labour.' 
— Yours  ever,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

P.S. — Sibell  is  very  well  and  we  expect  Perkins  to-day 
on  leave  from  his  military  duties. 


649 

To  Philip  Hanson 


35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
5.xi.07. 


MY  DEAR  P.  H., — I  got  your  letter  yesterday  before 
starting  for  London.  I  return  to  Saighton  to-night.  I 
came  up  for  the  Railway  *  crisis.'  But  of  that  later  on. 

The  only  good  report — fair  report — of  the  speech  we 
discussed  was  in  the  t  Aberdeen  Journal '  of  19.x. 

Your  letter  interests  and  impresses  me.  It  is  difficult 
— as  Joe  discovered — to  propose  a  policy  without  detail, 
and  impossible  to  go  into  detail  on  the  platform. 

The  aspect  of  Finance  which  interests  me  most  is  the 


TO  PHILIP  HANSON  255 

hardest  to  handle — I  mean  Credit.  And  it  is  overlooked 
most  frequently.  I  come  across  it  over  Railway  work. 
Let  me  use  it  as  an  illustration.  Railway  servants  want 
higher  wages  and  shorter  hours.  Anyone  can  sympathise 
with  that.  To  do  anything  in  that  direction  you  must 
choose  between  two  alternatives.  The  first  is  to  pay 
the  shareholders  less.  Now  the  reason  why  you  cannot 
pay  the  shareholders  less  is  not  that  they  have  a  right 
to  3£%.  It  is  that  until  you  give  them  4%  they  won't 
lend  you  any  more  money  ;  and  that  you  cannot  proceed 
unless  you  can  borrow. 

That  being  so,  if  railway  servants  are  to  have  higher 
wages  and  shorter  hours,  the  public  must  have  fewer 
trains  and  higher  fares.  This  is  an  apologue.  The  general 
trend  of  opinion  in  this  country  is  still  Cobdenite.  Opinion 
holds  that  the  remedy  for  any  evil  is  to  have  more  things 
at  lower  prices.  I  do  not  believe  that  this  opinion  was 
ever  altogether  sound.  I  am  sure  it  is  false  when  opinion, 
illogically,  inclines  also  and  at  the  same  time  towards 
higher  wages  and  shorter  hours. 

Now  let  me  jump  to  general  Fiscals. 

I  differ  from  you  to  this  extent.  You  hold  that  I  ought 
not  to  '  attack  '  without  an  alternative,  in  some  detail. 

I  hold  that  Asquith's  conundrums  are  irrelevant  unless 
he  can  say  that  the  present  system  is  sound. 

My  arguments  against  the  present  system  are  : 

I.  Revenue  Argument. 

(a)  Present   system  is  inadequate  ;    even  for  Defence 
and    Education ;     apart    from   Housing,    Land,    Rating ; 
and  hopelessly  inadequate  if  anything  is  to  be  done  for 
those  three  in  addition. 

Increase  on  Defence  and  Education  during  our  ten  years 
was  60%  on  each — an  increase  monstrously  in  excess  of 
the  growth  of  population. 

(b)  Present  system  is  inelastic. 

(i)  Direct.  If  you  could  have  2/-  income  tax,  20% 
instead  of  10%  Death  duty  on  large  properties,  well  and 
good.  But  you  can't.  It  drives  capital  abroad  and 
destroys  credit.  Asquith  before  the  Election  said  I/- 


256          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

was  altogether  too  high  if  income  tax  was  to  be  what  it 
ought  to  be  in  any  sound  system,  i.e.  a  Reserve,  3d.  on 
earned  incomes  under  £2000  total — is  right  enough ;  but 
does  not  touch  question  of  reserve. 

(ii).  Indirect  on  articles  of  ordinary  consumption  we 
take  63  millions  as  against  53  for  MacKinley  Tariff. 

Therefore,  if  you  are  to  subserve  the  5  objects  named 
without  destroying  credit,  you  must  '  broaden  basis,' 
i.e.  have  more  taxes  on  more  articles. 

II.  Argument    from    Retaliation    and    Preference.     If 
you  do  I.,  you  are  then  free  to  attempt  II.     But  your 
attempt  must  be  tentative  and  experimental. 

The  first  tax  that  can  be  put  on  is  a  Corn  tax.  The  l/- 
till  Low  abolished  it  on  pedantic  grounds  brought  in  some 
revenue.  When  Beach  reimposed  it,  it  bid  fair  to  bring 
in  more,  and  price  of  bread  fell.  In  order  to  give  pre- 
ference we  advocated  2/-.  Price  of  corn,  etc.,  has  gone 
up  from  10/-  to  16/-,  and  price  of  loaf  has  only  risen  Id. 
in  some  few  places  and  has  not  risen  in  others. 

It  is  clear,  therefore,  that  some  revenue  can  be  got 
without  raising  price. 

But,  then,  I  advocate  a  preference.  /  would  not  give 
Canada  the  whole  2/-.  I  would  give  her  I/-. 

I  believe  that  such  a  plan  would  have  a  large  sentimental 
effect.  Its  tendency  would  be  to  foster  what  is  already 
going  on,  i.e.  labour — (all  she  needs)  going  to  Canada 
instead  of  U.S.A. 

But  I  do  not  believe  that  U.S.A.  would  sit  down  and 
acquiesce.  She  would  try  to  pour  in  corn,  and  it  is  not 
improbable  that  Canada  paying  I/-  and  U.S.A.  paying 
2/-  would  increase  supplies  and  cheapen. 

But  now  I  must  catch  my  train. 

III.  Argument  is  Humanitarian  Standard. 

We  cannot  have  inspectors  as  well  as  Consuls  abroad, 
and  therefore  it  is  sense  to  have  a  low  duty  on  most 
manufactured  articles. 

If  you  are  interested,  I  will  deal  with  Asquith's  conun- 
drums about  meat  and  wool  in  another  letter. — Yours 
ever,  G.  W. 


TO  HIS  FATHER  257 

650 

To  his  Father 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  November  5th,  1907. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  am  not  going  to  buy  the  Queen's 
letter.  I  think  it  very  likely  that  you  will  be  able  to 
get  it  for  30/-  in  six  months'  or  a  year's  time. 

I  was  up  in  London  to-day  for  the  Railway  crisis  but 
had  not  a  moment  in  which  to  look  you  up. 

I  quite  understand  what  you  feel  about  politics ;  I 
think  that  I,  too,  am  getting  politically  old.  For  I 
dislike  politics  more  and  more  and  care  less  and  less  for 
any  issues  before  the  country,  or  likely  to  come  before  it 
in  my  time. 

If  I  can  get  a  good  report  of  my  speeches  I  will  send  it 
to  you. 

I  shall  look  up  the  article  on  '  Trees  '  in  the  *  Times.* 

Pam's  book  is  very  good.  The  Dreams  frighten  me 
and  would  have  given  me  a  fit  when  I  was  Clare's  age. 
Poor  Pam  is  worried  about  her  baby  ill  in  Scotland  but 
going  on  well.  I  was  pleased  by  the  Review  in  the  '  Times' 
Literary  Supplement '  of  last  Friday  ;  chiefly  because  her 
book — supposed  a  book  for  children — was  reviewed  and 
reviewed  second,  under  '  Fiction,'  to  a  work  by  the  man 
who  wrote  '  Number  (something)  John  Street ' ;  a  book 
that  made  a  great  splash. 

The  other  works  of  fiction  are  reviewed  later ;  or 
relegated — in  shoals — to  the  advertisement  column. 

Perf  arrived  here  Sunday  night  and  was  telegraphed  for 
Monday  night  for  a  Court  Martial.  But  we  both  got 
back  this  evening,  he  from  the  Army,  I  from  the  Railway 
crisis.  And  now  we  shall  get  a  hunt  or  two  together. 

I  had  two  good  days  last  week  and  enjoyed  them 
immensely.  I  should  like  to  hunt  a  provincial  pack  of 
hounds,  command  a  Yeomanry  Regiment  and  write  a 
book  once  in  five  years  ;  and  let  politics  '  go  hang.' 

In  politics  it  is  impossible  to  do  more  than  one  thing 
VOL.  n.  R 


258          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

at  a  time ;  and  difficult  to  do  one  thing  since,  to  do  that, 
you  must  interest  and  control  a  great  number  of  different 
classes,  and  traditions  and  theories. 

The  whole  theory  of  Cobdenism  is  wrong.  Even  in 
the  minor  matter  of  the  Railway  crisis,  the  practical 
difficulty  arises  entirely  from  a  pursuit  of  cheapness  and 
competition.  The  hours  are  long  and  the  wages  low,  if 
not  for  those  hours  then,  certainly,  for  the  amount  of  work 
done  in  them. 

If  you  stood  on  the  platform  at  Crewe  for  twelve  hours 
you  would  see  an  almost  continuous  procession  of  trains, 
coming  in  and  being  broken  up  into  sections,  going  out 
in  different  directions  to  the  North.  This  is  a  great 
strain.  It  arises  from  four  lines  racing  North,  pandering 
to  the  lower  middle-class  and  '  blackmailed  '  by  Parliament 
and  the  Press. 

The  only  practical  way  of  relieving  the  strain  is  to  have 
fewer  trains  and  higher  fares.  This  applies  chiefly  to 
the  Northern  lines.  Our  men  are  satisfied  and  solidly 
loyal.  But  then  we  are  a  butt  of  scorn  because  we  do 
not  run  an  express  every  half  hour  at  less  than  cost  price. 
— Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

651 

To  his  Mother 

THE  GRAND  HOTEL, 
DOVER,  November  16th,  1907. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  return  Pam's  letters.  It  is 
a  relief  to  know — as  I  do  from  later  ones — that  she  is  no 
longer  anxious. 

S.  S.  and  I  are  comfortable  here.  We  both  felt  dear 
Chesham's  death.  It  prevented  S.  S.  from  going  to 
Birmingham.  But  I  had  to  go,  not  only  to  be  present 
at  the  Conference  and  Mass  Meeting  but,  as  President — 
for  a  second  year — of  the  Midland  Conservative  Club. 
I  had  to  take  the  chair  there,  after  Arthur's  big  speech, 
to  introduce  him  to  the  members.  It  was  a  heavy  day. 
We  started  at  10  a.m.  and  got  back  after  12.30  at  night.  I 


TO  PHILIP  HANSON  259 

then  talked  to  Chang  in  her  room  till  2  o'clock.  Yesterday 
I  returned  to  London,  dashed  across  and  picking  up  S.  S. 
I  slept  all  the  way  in  the  train  to  Dover.  Last  night  was 
our  Mayor's  banquet.  I  made  two  speeches ;  proposing 
the  Mayor  and  returning  thanks  for  self.  Now  we  are 
doing  Dover  quietly  till  Wednesday  when  I  speak  on 
politics.  It  is  a  dreary  day  of  fog  and  rain. 

Arthur's  speech  was  a  complete  success.  He  spoke 
well  with  scarcely  a  note  and  no  hesitation.  It  was  his 
best  chance  and,  almost,  his  last  chance.  But  he  took  it 
and  we  are  all  happy. 

Best  love  to  papa. — Your  most  loving  son,     GEORGE. 


652 

To  Philip  Hanson 

GRAND  HOTEL, 
DOVER,  17.ri.07. 

MY  DEAR  P.  H., — This,  the  17th,  represents  my  first 
blow  at  the  air-hole  of  leisure  since  yours  of  the  6th.  I 
cannot,  without  an  effort,  remember  all  that  has  happened 
since,  and  I  am  too  idle  to  fetch  a  diary.  Now,  I  remember. 
I  had  two  great  days  hunting  with  Percy,  7th  and  8th, 
enjoyed  myself  huge>y  and  took  two  rattling  falls.  I 
was,  of  course,  saddened  by  Chesham's  death.1  But  it 
was  a  good  death,  of  a  kind,  brave,  sensible  man.  I 
dashed  off  to  meet  Lady  Grosvenor  at  Madresfield  last 
Monday,  to  reconstruct  plans.  We  agreed  I  must  not 
give  up  the  Birmingham  Conference.  Thursday  was  a 
full,  interesting  day.  I  sat  at  the  Conference  from  eleven 
onward.  Banqueted  with  A.  J.  B.  at  six.  Heard  him 
speak  at  eight.  He  spoke  very  well ;  hardly  looked  at  a 
note  (on  one  sheet)  and  never  hesitated  for  one  hour  and 
twenty  minutes.  He  did  the  trick.  We  told  him  it  was 
his  best  chance  ;  and  his  last.  So  he  took  it.  I  some- 
tunes  wish  that  extremity  was  not  the  only  '  jumping- 
board  '  from  which  he  can  jump.  After  the  mass  meet- 

1  Lord  Chesham  was  killed  by  a  fall  when  hunting  in  Cheshire. 


260          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

ing  I  took  the  chair  as  President  of  the  Midland  Conserva- 
tive Club,  introduced  him,  etc.  '  The  old  Tory  Fortress 
of  the  Midlands,'  and  so  forth.  He  made  another  nice 
speech.  I  got  back  at  twenty  to  one,  and  sat  up  talking 
to  my  sister,  Lady  Elcho,  in  her  bedroom,  till  any  hour. 
She,  rightly,  observed  that  the  occasion  bespoke  anything 
but  prudence.  Started  early  Friday,  just  caught  the 
train  in  London,  slept  like  a  stone  to  Dover  and  made  two 
bright  speeches  at  the  Mayor's  banquet. 

Between  whiles  I  have  corrected  and  polished  my 
*  Scott.'  Sent  off  the  typed  copy  corrected  and  touched 
up,  to-night.  Some  of  the  last  touches  amused  me  :  as 
thus,  for  the  Richardson  business  '  any  party  of  nobodies 
seated  round  a  table  ' — and  then  the  added  touch,  '  and 
applying  a  delicate  seismometer  to  any  tremor,  however 
faint,  with  which  the  heart  responds  to  any  fact,  however 
trivial.'  And  this  other  touch  :  '  The  Romantic  smoothed 
to  the  inane,  had  to  be  galvanised  to  the  diabolic.  The 
Realistic  sweetened  with  sentiment,  had  to  be  salted  with 
satire.'  And  that,  my  dear  P.  H.,  is  '  the  kind  of  hair- 
pins we  are.' 

But  what  the  Burgesses  and  Literary  gents  of  the 
Modern  Athens  will  make  of  it  all  I  leave  you  to  surmise. 

It  is  now  too  late  to  begin  preparing  my  speech  for 
Wednesday,  and  too  early  to  go  to  bed,  so  I  am  talking 
to  you.  It  is  only  10  o'clock  !  But  I  am  too  idle  to  con- 
tinue my  last  letter  in  grim  earnest.  I  will  sketch  in  the 
faintest  outline  what  I  mean  by  tackling  Asquith's 
conundrum. 

He  says  'what  about  (1)  Corn,  (2)  Meat,  (3)  Wool, 
(4)  Wood  ?  ' 

There  are,  at  least,  Four  lines  of  reply. 

I.  The    colonies    have    never   asked    for    '  distributive 
justice '  from  us,  and  don't  give  it  to  each  other. 

II.  They  want   their  production   stimulated  ;    but    on 
what  ?     Canada  on  Corn,  but  not  on  Wood.     Australia 
on  Meat  and  Corn,  but  not  on  Wool  (pace  that  old  fat, 
red-faced  donkey  Sir ). 

III.  Looking   homewards — our   appetite    for    food    is 


TO  PHILIP  HANSON  261 

relatively  limited  by  comparison  with    our    appetite  for 
raw  material. 

IV.  Anyway,  if  we  are  to  compare  Fiscal  systems,  will 
you  weigh  the  comparative  merits  of  '  Sheep  and  Sugar  ?  ' 

I  take  this  comparison  because  Simon,  M.P.,  made  a 
speech  on  the  Budget  about  Australian  sheep  which  was 
taken  to  be  mighty  clever  and  conclusive.  He  is  one  of 
the  *  rising  lights.'  Son  of  Rev.  E.  Simon,  Congregational 
Minister,  Barrister-at-law,  Fellow  of  All  Souls — '  nec-non 
and  the  deuce  knows  what '  (Browning).  Well,  says  he, 
look  at  '  the  Australian  sheep,  meat  inside  and  wool 
outside.'  (Roars  of  laughter.)  '  How  are  you  going  to 
tax  one  and  not  the  other  ?  '  (Loud  cheers.) 

Now  that  is  the  kind  of  clever  nonsense  which  I  won't 
stand. 

I  retort :  Look  at  Sheep  and  Sugar.  Each  is  both 
food  and  raw  material.  But,  with  this  distinction  :  that 
the  food  is  the  sheep  and  the  raw  material,  come  here 
separately  and  can  be  separately  dealt  with.  The  sugar 
comes  solid.  If  I  tax  sugar  as  a  food,  I  must  tax  sugar 
as  a  raw  material.  If  I  tax  Australian  meat,  I  need  not 
— and  shall  not — tax  Australian  wool. 

But,  waiving  the  raw  material  side  to  the  argument 
(having  scored  that  trick)  what  of  the  Food  side  ? 

If  the  tax  is  on  meat,  which  we  produce,  and  if  we  give 
Australia  a  preference,  one  of  two  things  must  happen, 
either  the  Foreigner  will  pay  the  tax,  or  else  he  will  desist 
from  importing  because,  and  when,  the  Empire  becomes 
self-sufficient.  Why  not  have  two  good  things  one  after 
the  other,  instead  of  neither  at  any  time  ?  Personally  I 
believe  you  will  get  both.  This,  I  know,  makes  the  Free 
Trader  scream.  But  that  is  because  he  lives  in  the  abstract. 
In  the  concrete  world  sentiment  plays  a  huge  part.  Senti- 
ment will  stimulate  the  Australian,  and,  for  that  matter, 
Charlie  Adeane,  to  have  rather  more  sheep  the  next  year 
after  the  Tariff.  And  sentiment  will  stimulate  the  Foreigner 
not  to  be  beat.  He  will  pay  a  small  tax  rather  than 
surrender  a  market.  The  price  of  meat  will  not  go  up. 
That  is  a  miracle  in  the  abstract.  But  a  probability, 


262          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

verging  on  a  certainty,  in  the  concrete.  At  any  rate  I 
mean  to  try  it. 

And  now  I  shall  go  to  bed  at  10.40. 

To-morrow  I  start  at  9.30  to  go  all  over  the  Harbour, 
and  drink  the  sea  breeze,  and  marvel  at  the  ingenuity 
with  which  mind  manoeuvres  masses,  and  defies  '  the 
mighty  Being  '  who 

1  doth  with  his  eternal  motion  make 
A  sound  like  thunder — everlastingly.' 

Whiles,  the  '  mighty  Being  '  puts  in  one.  The  other  day 
he  put  a  ship  into  the  Mole,  and  moved  all  those  80  ton 
blocks,  pushing  a  hole  through  them  as  if  they  were  bricks. 
They  had  not  settled  down  on  their  concrete  beds  to  their 
everlasting  job.  My  dear  old  friend,  Mr.  Heyn,  in  charge 
of  the  works,  multiplied  the  mass  of  the  ship  into  her 
'  velocity  ' — she  was  only  making  9  knots — and  found  that 
she  knocked  the  Mole  to  the  tune  of  a  60,000  ton  blow. 
It  is  a  pleasure  to  consider  these  arguments  after  Simon's 
windlestraws  and  Asquith's  powder-puffs.  But  the  Harbour 
is  not  finished,  and  Tariff  Reform  is  still  in  the  offing.  I 
spare  you  '  Tantse  molis  erat.' — Yours  ever,  G.  W. 

653 

To  his  Father 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

December  5th,  1907. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — This  is  Perf's  birthday — 20  years 
old! 

I  thought  I  had  sent  you  a  report  of  my  speech  on 
Walter  Scott.  But  Sibell  writes  that  I  did  not.  Even 
the  '  Scotsman '  left  out  the  bit  I  like  best.  So  I  send 
that  report  and  the  '  Irish  Times.' 

Read  the  '  Scotsman  '  till  you  get  to  (A).  Then  read 
the  bit  marked  (A)  in  the  '  Irish  Times.' 

I  was  pleased  to  find  from  the  Press  cuttings  that  the 
Irish  papers  report  me  very  fully  whenever  I  speak. 

The  English   '  Times  '  boycotts  me.     That  is  because 


TO  LIEUT.-COL.  STEPHEN  FREWEN        263 

Macmillan — the  publisher's  protagonist  against  the  Times 
Book  Club — published  my  Ronsard  last  year. 

I  had  a  splendid  meeting  at  Dartford  last  night.  There 
is  a  short  report  in  '  Standard  '  and  '  Morning  Post.'  And 
to-morrow  I  go — as  a  Tariff  Reformer — into  the  Lions' 
Den.  For  I  have  to  speak  in  Manchester. 

Love  to  darling  Mamma. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

P.S. — All  the  papers  omit  from  my  '  Scott '  a  rather 
amusing  exordium.  Hanson  came  from  Ireland  to  hear. 
A  good  '  Dog  Tray.' 

654 

To  Lieut.-Col.  Stephen  Frewen 

SAIGHTON, 
CHESTER,  December  15th,  1907. 

DEAR  OLD  STE., — What  a  brick  you  are  to  write  such 
long,  interesting  letters  to  an  old  pal.  The  mistake  over 
the  Battle  picture  *  is  mine,  or  rather  it  is  properly  to  be 
charged  to  an  excellent  young  lady  who  helps  me  with 
correspondence,  type-writing,  etc.  I  remember  nothing 
about  it.  But  I  am  sure  that  she  said  *  Here  is  a  picture  ' 
just  when  I  was  preparing  a  speech  and  starting  off  to 
catch  the  train.  I  shall  buy  the  picture  and  give  it  to 
Guy  for  Christmas.  ...  I  must  add  that — qua  speaking 
— I  have  been  galloped  pretty  near  to  a  standstill  this 
Autumn.  I  totted  up  and  find  that  since  October  9th  I 
have  made  12  big  and  7  little  speeches. 

Between  all  these  speeches  I  have  put  in  some  hunts. 
.  .  .  On  Tuesday  we  had  a  '  topper ' ;  5  mile  point,  7 
miles  as  they  ran  or  more ;  in  35  minutes.  Yesterday, 
at  Darnhall,  we  had  a  fair  turn  over  the  Paradise-Wellen- 
hall,  Darnhall  country.  I  remember  you  on  your  old 
grey  showing  us  how  to  do  that.  I  had  a  superb  toss 
over  wire ;  floated  over  a  '  Leicestershire '  fence,  and 

1  'The  Charge  at  Klipfontein'  that  was  led  by  the  i6th  Lancers  under  com- 
mand of  Lieut.-Col.  Frewen,  and  brought  about  the  relief  of  Kimberley. 


264          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

was  turned  head  over  heels  with  my  horse  by  a  wire  on 
the  landing  side.  It  is  pleasant  to  find  that,  in  spite  of 
politics,  I  am  not  stiff  from  the  fall.  I  cut  my  face  and 
had  to  be  '  stitched,'  but  otherwise  am  none  the  worse. 
Tried  a  horse  to-day  and  bought  him. 

I  only  put  in  all  this  prattle  to  revive  your  memories 
of  old  days.  Percy  is  on  leave,  here,  and  '  going '  well. 
He,  too,  took  a  toss  over  rails.  In  fact,  we  are  all  tumbling 
a  good  deal  this  year.  It  was  very  blind  at  the  start, 
and  is  now  very  deep.  We  all  felt  dear  Chesham's  death. 
But  it  was  a  good  way  to  end  a  good  life. 

You  must  not  let  your  disappointment  weigh  on  your 
mind.  Maybe  it  can  be  righted.  Maybe  it  cannot.  But 
what  does  it  matter  to  an  English  gentleman  who  has  led 
a  charge  in  war  and  can  hold  his  own  with  the  youngsters 
out  hunting  ?  It  matters  nothing.  In  my  little  Political 
way  I  have  not  received  much  thanks.  But  I  don't  care 
a  damn. 

And  they  may  want  us  both,  yet.  And  if  they  don't 
want  us,  we  can  be  ourselves,  and  ride  straight. — Yours 
ever,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

655 

To  Philip  Hanson 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

19.xii.07. 

MY  DEAR  P.  H., — I  enclose  E.  Tennant's  letter  written 
on  same  day  as  yours. 

I  am  hard  pressed  just  in  front  of  the  last  fence — 
Leicester — of  my  long  course.  They  suddenly  shot  me 
for  a  speech  last  night  at  '  The  United  Empire  Club.'  I 
spoke  well.  There  is  a  report  in  the  '  Morning  Post.' 

To-day  I  felt  tired  as  the  Dinner  was  long,  and  the  room 
hot.  It  was  a  fine  gathering.  I  am  fighting  hard  to  keep 
January  clear  of  speeches. 

They  want  me  to  be  guest  of  evening  at  '  1900  Club,' 
but  I  have  said  February. 

I  am  quite  happy  in  my  mind  about  politics.     Whether  I 


TO  PHILIP  HANSON  265 

should  ever  be  happy  in  any  conceivable  Government  is 
another  affair.  For  I  mean  business  over  Social  Reform 
and  cannot  allow  myself  to  be  '  jobbed  off  '  again.  //  we 
get  in  on  T.  R.  and  S.  R.1  and  drop  the  latter,  I  take  a  line 
of  my  own.  Rather,  I  will  not  go  in  without  assurances. 

To-morrow  I  shall  try  something  like  this. 

Prelude.     The  reawakened  interest  in  Politics. 

(N.B. — You  are  right  about  that.  Why  were  there  so 
few  speeches  last  year  ?  Because  nobody  asked  us  to 
speak.  Why  so  many  now  ?  Because  everybody  is 
clamouring  for  them.) 

So — next  Election,  of  great  and,  perhaps,  decisive 
importance. 

Will  reveal  temper  and  purpose  of  British  people. 
Strain  of  the  20  years — '85  to  '05,  on  the  new  democracy. 

What  a  lot  of  questions  settled.    Ireland ;    Partition  of 

Africa;   Egypt;   Navy.     Beginning  of 

No  wonder  a  collapse.  But  were  we  old  and  spent,  or  only 
tired  and  irritable  ?  I  hope  the  latter. 

If  so,  take  up  burden  of  Empire  and  Social  Reform. 
But  for  that  must  not  be  distracted — must  concentrate. 

My  quarrel  with  Government  that  they  distract  by 
unsettling  Navy  2  power  standard. 

Ireland  :  Union  and  order  to  be  maintained. 

These  2  must  be  held  to  be  settled. 

House  of  Lords  useful  for  that. 

Education  can  be  settled  only  on  basis  of  State's 
impartiality.  It  must  be  settled  and  added  to  the  long 
list  of  settled  policies  outside  Party  conflict — India,  Asia, 
Foreign  Office,  Ireland,  Africa,  Egypt,  Navy. 

Then  can  attack  Empire  and  Social  Reform. 

Which — '  me  judice  ' — are  what  interest ;  can  only 
be  tackled  by  Tariff  Reform,  and  are  outside  scope  of 
House  of  Lords. 

Very  well  then  : — 

Power  of  Empire  and  Welfare  of  People  are  closely 
connected,  but  must  begin  somewhere.  I  will  begin  at 

1  Tariff  Reform  and  Social  Reform. 


266          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

beginning,  not  with  Empire,  or  U.  K.,  or  Leicester,  but 
with  a  slum  and  a  child  in  that  slum,  returning  on  a  dark 
winter  afternoon  from  school,  without  having  had  a  meal, 
to  an  insanitary  home.  What  are  you  going  to  do  ? 
Something  you  must  do  (&  la  Carlyle). 

There  are  only  2  plans,  Socialistic  and  Imperialistic. 
Look  at  first. 

Increase  direct  taxation  and  rates,  to  feed  and  clothe 
the  child  and  to  pension  his  parents. 

Borrow  money  to  build  them  a  better  and  more  expensive 
house.  What  happens  ? 

Higher  taxes  drive  capital  abroad. 

Higher  rates  prevent  erection  of  factories  and  workshops, 
etc.,  etc. 

Ends  in  turning  England  into  the  Poplar  and  West 
Ham  of  Europe. 

The  plan  is  bad,  because  you  tried  to  find  out  How  to 
remedy  the  evil,  without  asking,  first,  Why  it  is  there. 

Why  was  the  child  hungry  ? 

Because  his  father  was  unemployed. 

Why? 

Because  of 

Pauper  aliens 
Dumped  goods 
Sweated  goods 
High  rates 
High  direct  taxes. 

And  into  it  I  go  with  gusto  and  glee,  and  work  right  up 
the  keyboard  to  the  crashing  harmonies  of  Empire  and 
Employment  with  a  lovely  leit-motif  of  the  '  Sister  States  * 
— bless  'em — carolling  like  birds  through  the  strumming 
of  Statistics  and  bugle-calls  of  the  higher  Patriotism. 

This  exuberance  is  due  to  the  fact  that  I  have  just  been 
to  sleep  like  a  stone  from  3  to  5,  and  am  refreshed  by  a 
cup  of  tea. 

Also,  I  find  it  easier  to  write  a  letter  to  you  than  to 
work  at  a  speech.  But  incidentally  I  have  made  one. 
So  hey  !  for  Leicester  and  the  Lions'  Den  of  Radical 
Nonconformity. — Yours  ever,  G.  W. 


TO  HIS  FATHER  267 

656 

To  his  Mother 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  December  22nd,  1907. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — So  as  to  be  sure  of  hitting  off 
Christmas  I  am  writing  to-night  to  send  you  all  love  and 
all  wishes  for  a  merry  Christmas  and  happy  new  year. 
Give  my  best  love  to  Papa. 

I  finished  my  speaking  campaign  at  Leicester  on  Friday. 
It  was  an  immense  relief  to  get  it  all  over.  I  spoke  at  a 
mass  meeting  and  again  later  at  a  working-man's  club. 
Yesterday  in  the  train  I  felt  like  a  boy  coming  home  for 
the  holidays.  And  last  night  I  slept  for  eleven  hours  on 
end  !  after  sleeping  for  an  hour  in  the  afternoon — twelve 
in  all. 

And  now  I  am  going  to  hunt  and  read  good  old  books. 
Whilst  I  was  away  last  week  Perf  entertained  four  brother- 
officers  here — all  hunting  with  many  horses  and  a  motor 
car.  Sibell  wrote  that  they  were  '  as  quiet  as  mice.'  I 
don't  know  what  she  expected  ! 

My  *  Scott '  speech  is  being  printed  as  a  pamphlet,  and 
I  will  send  you  a  copy. — Your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

657 

To  his  Father 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  Christmas,  1907. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — The  hounds  meet  here  to-morrow. 
Twenty-eight  persons  are  coming  out  from  Eaton.  This 
is,- 1  think,  the  record  of  '  Hunt-batches.'  With  Percy 
and  self  it  makes  a  party  of  thirty.  I  wonder  if  Bad- 
minton ever  put  such  a  '  posse  comitatus  '  in  the  field. 
The  competition  will  be  keen.  For  most  of  Bendor's 
guests  are  4  artists  ' — Ikey  Bell,  '  Greepy  '  de  Crespigny, 
Rivy  Grenfell,  Fitzpatrick,  Ivor  Guest  and  many  more. 


268          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

And  the  local  lights  will  try  to  hold  their  own  against  the 
paladins  of  Leicestershire  and  Meath.  It  is  interesting 
— apart  from  the  fun  of  it  and  the  sport — to  see  this  when 
political  changes  may  abolish  the  gentry  and  their  pursuits. 
Personally,  I  back  the  gentry.  In  addition  to  hunting, 
Bendor  and  I  are  going  to  start  a  political  revival  in 
Cheshire.  He  has  asked  everybody  with  a  name  and  a 
shilling  to  lunch  at  the  Grosvenor  Hotel  on  January  4th 
and  we  are  going  to  tell  them  that  unless  they  subscribe 
to  and  work  for  our  Party  they  are  useless  and  doomed. 
We  put  Tariff  Reform  in  the  front  and  ask  for  a  guarantee 
of  £1000  a  year  for  four  years  in  addition  to  all  subscrip- 
tions in  separate  constituencies.  Our  object  is  to  win 
back  all  the  seats  in  Cheshire. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

658 

To  his  Father 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  December  28th,  1907. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — We  are  having  great  fun  here 
after  all  the  grind  and  wretchedness  of  a  platform  cam- 
paign. On  Christmas  night  we  sat  down  thirty-nine  to 
dinner,  and  thirty  of  forty-five  hunted  Thursday.  To- 
day we  were  all  out  again  and  had  three  hunts  ;  the  last 
perfect  and  the  others  good.  I  had  great  luck  all  day. 
In  the  first  run  I  was  third  over  a  hunting-bridge  which 
broke  with  the  tenth  man.  So  nine  of  us  had  the  hounds 
to  ourselves.  And  in  the  evening  we  had  a  perfect  thirty- 
five  minutes  ;  after  a  good  thirty  minutes  in  the  afternoon. 

I  got  a  glorious  start  over  a  river,  after  we  had  been  run- 
ning for  ten  minutes  and  then  had  a  divine  seventeen  or 
eighteen  minutes,  leading  and  '  cutting  out  the  work.' 

That  is  the  joy  of  hunting.  There  is  nothing  like  it. 
Three  of  us — Hornby,  a  whip  and  self — sailed  away  fifty 
lengths  in  front  of  Bendor,  Mrs.  Tom  Galley  and  the 
Grenfell  '  Twins.'  The  rest  were  nowhere.  We  *  spread- 
eagled  '  the  field.  The  pace  was  too  hot  to  choose  your 


TO  HIS  FATHER  269 

place  by  a  yard.  We  just  took  everything  as  it  came  with 
the  hounds  screaming  by  our  side.  Nobody  could  gain  an 
inch.  These  are  the  moments  that  justify  fox-hunting. 
At  the  end  we  forded  the  river  again  and  had  to  '  whip -off  * 
at  4-12  p.m.  in  the  dark. — Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 


659 

To  his  Father 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  January  1st,  1908. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — A  happy  New  Year  to  you  !  I 
am  afraid  I  cannot  shoot  on  the  21st.  I  have  a  Railway 
Board  Meeting  on  that  day  at  11  o'clock  and  another  at 
10-30  on  the  22nd.  I  am  shirking  two  meetings  next 
week  and  those  on  the  21st  and  22nd  are  important  as  we 
settle  everything  at  them  before  the  half-yearly  meeting 
of  the  shareholders.  But  I  should  love  to  start  the  New 
Year  fairly  early  with  you  at  Clouds  and  would  come  on 
the  Saturday,  18th  and  stay  till  late  Monday  night.  If, 
which  Heaven  avert,  it  was  freezing,  I  could  come  on  the 
Friday. 

I  hunted  four  days  last  week  and  Monday  and  to-day. 
But  now  it  is  over  till  we  get  a  south-west  wind.  To-day 
was  impossible.  We  did  some  necessary,  though  belated 
'  cubbing  '  in  a  little  wood  where  there  are  eleven  foxes 
and  killed  one  of  them.  But  the  gateways  and  ploughs 
were  too  hard  to  let  the  hounds  go  away.  I  rode  back 
here  with  de  Crespigny  over  '  the  Gap  '  in  the  Cheshire 
hills.  The  sun  was  shining  and  the  view  is  wonderful. 
At  the  '  Gap,'  a  '  Col '  over  the  range,  you  see  the  whole 
expanse  of  the  vale  to  Crewe  and,  then,  directly  you  cross 
it,  the  whole  expanse  of  our  vale  to  Chester.  I  gave  him 
lunch  and  got  on  another  horse  and  rode  him  over  to  Eaton. 
Then  I  walked  the  line  of  our  first  hunt  last  Thursday  and 
looked  at  the  jumps.  So  I  got  six  or  seven  hours'  exercise 
in  what  the  '  Globe  Leader  '  describes  as  '  The  biting  blasts 
that  blow  round  the  death-bed  of  the  departing  year.' 


270          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

Like  *  Mobled  Queen  '  that  is  a  good  phrase. 

Bendor,  who  is  indefatigable,  whipped  over,  after  dinner, 
in  his  motor,  to  discuss  our  last  moves  in  the  campaign 
which  we  open  on  Saturday.  I  think  he  will  make  a  good 
speech. 

Most  of  the  really  rich  men  who  hunt  five  days  a  week 
and  subscribe  only  £25  to  the  Hounds  and  £1-1-0  to 
politics,  have  refused  his  invitation.  But  seventeen  are 
coming.  You  must  make  a  beginning.  And  in  politics, 
as  in  hunting,  it  is  useless  to  ride  up  and  down  the  fence. 
We  are  off  1  And  we  mean  to  make  the  Palatinate  of 
Cheshire  a  pattern  for  the  Unionist  Revival. 

Bendor  and  de  Crespigny  think  the  photographs  of 
Orpen's  pictures  the  best  they  have  ever  seen.  De  Cres- 
pigny means  to  have  his  father,  and  Bendor  his  children 
painted  in  the  same  way. 

Perf  left  us  last  night  to  resume  duty  on  January  1st, 
and  we  miss  him  very  much.  He  is  a  glorious  sunbeam  in 
the  house  and  an  exhilarating  companion  in  the  chase. — 
Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

660 

To  his  Mother 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  January  1st,  1908. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — We  loved  your  telegram  and 
I  must  send  a  word  of  all  love  to  you  on  this  first  day  of 
another  year. 

It  is  strange  to  recall  that  I  was  here  twenty  years  ago, 
married  and  hunting  with  Percy  two  months  old,  but  so 
it  is  !  But  not,  as  Manenai — (Bless  her  from  me  !) — had 
it  in  her  solitary  contribution  to  English  literature  ; 1  not 
*  sad  to  say  ' ;  but  *  glad  to  say.' 

Here  we  are  !  All  loving  each  other  in  a  wonderful 
world,  full  of  colour  and  movement  and  structure  and  pur- 
pose :  brothers  or  sisters  of  the  sun  and  moon  and  milky 

1  '  The  Sad  Story  of  a  Pig  and  a  little  Girl.'  Written  by  Madeline  Wyndham 
(aged  6  years)  and  illustrated  by  Richard  Doyle. 


TO  CHARLES  T.  GATTY  271 

way  :  all,  as  dear  Henley  wrote,  '  going  to  the  same  glad 
golden  time  '  :  all  going  with  '  the  scheme  of  things,'  and 
therefore,  obviously,  all  coming  towards  his — '  the  end 
I  know,  is  the  best  of  all !  ' 

These  sentiments,  like  Manenai's  masque,  and  Peck- 
sniff's (Chuzzlewit)  reflections  on  a  syren  are  '  Pagan,  I 
fear.'  But  that  kind  of  Paganism  is  a  sound  basis  for 
Christianity. — Your  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

661 

To  Charles  T.  Gatty 

35  PARK  LANE,  W. 

2.ii.08. 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — '  Carmina  Gadelica  '  are  despatched 
to-day.  I  had  ordered  a  new  copy,  but  found  yet  a  third 
in  my  bookcase.  I  must  have  laid  them  down  like  Port. 

So  you  need  give  no  thought  to  their  price,  or  cost,  but 
you  must,  rather,  consider  their  value  and  worth.  Their 
value  is  their  own.  Their  worth  consists  in  adding 
solemnity  and  point  to  our  hilarious  divagations  over  the 
Springs  of  Romance  and  the  Macaronic  sermons. 

The  introduction  should  be  noted  for  two  reasons  : 
First,  because  puritanism  is  there  shewn  to  have  made 
an  old  fiddler  sell  his  fiddle  and  break  his  heart ;  secondly, 
because  confirmation  is  lent  to  my  theory  that  popular 
poetry  was  written  by  the  learned  and  handed  down  by 
the  lewd,  or  unlearned. 

All  songs  derive  from  the  Sanctuary  or  the  Court.  The 
Court  was  the  great  invention  of  Barbarism,  and  marks 
its  triumph  over  savagery.  In  the  Court,  the  Barbarian 
reconciled  strength  and  justice  :  a  startling  paradox  in 
his  day.  In  the  Sanctuary  the  Church  unveiled  Mercy 
and  Peace,  and,  so,  turned  the  paradox  into  a  platitude. 

The  rivers  from  each  origin  flash  and  mingle  in  the 
Poetry  of  the  Middle  Age.  It  is  a  fair  stream  reflecting 
all  the  personages  of  the  Court  of  Heaven.  It  is  filled 
with  the  water  of  life — in  every  sense — and  not  choked 
with  the  dust  of  ages. 


272          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

I  have  read  '  Carmina  Gadelica  '  through  this  after- 
noon. They  are  full  of  life  and  lore,  of  wisdom  and, 
therefore,  of  repose.  We  can  repose  on  the  Past. 

In  fine,  my  gift  is  the  recording  stele  of  our  exploration 
to  discover  the  springs  of  Romance  and  their  foam-bow 
of  Rhyme. — Yours  ever,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

P.S. — '  High  are  the  Peaks  and  shadow-gloom'd  and 
Huge  ! '  * 

P.S.  (2). — Please  send  me  the  name  and  number  of  the 
Hymn  which  may  give  me  a  model  for  my  Pageant  chorus 
— and  an  air. 

662 

To  Charles  Boyd 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  23.ii.08. 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — Precisely  !  But  if  you  infest  a 
cottage  in  a  wood  by  Woking  ?  What  then  ?  We  have 
both  become  too  truly  rural  for  urbanity. 

I  am  all  for  your  dining  with  us  at  35  on  a  day  in  the 
week  which  begins  on  Sunday  March  1st.  Why  not  that 
day,  if  we  can  secure  and  fix  the  now  volatile  Percy  ? 
Observe.  You  frequent  Woking,  (moralising  in  the  necro- 
polis) no  less  insistently  than  I  harbour  myself  here.  I 
kept  what  is  called  '  the  establishment '  here,  with  the 
purpose,  fulfilled,  of  hunting  after  the  Session  began  and 
spending  my  Saturdays  and  Sundays  like  Cato  major, 
'  seething  parsnips  by  my  fireside.' 

The  speeches  you  commend  were  excursions  '  into  the 
enemy's  country.'  I  prefer — as  a  staple  of  living — to 
hunt  with  Percy  and  dine  off  roast  mutton  with  my  lady 
wife.  By  this  absence  of  device,  in  despite  of  falsely 
supposed  artistic  divagation,  I  push  and  eat  my  way 
to  a  thorough  understanding  of  the  English.  As  thus  : 
on  Monday  I  spoke  at  Birmingham  ;  on  Tuesday  I  attended 
the  House  and  dined  at  '  the '  Club ;  on  Wednesday  I 
attended  the  House  closely  ;  but,  on  Thursday  I  came 

1  Translation  of  a  line  from  the  Chanson  de  Roland. 


TO  CHARLES  BOYD  273 

here  and,  so,  hunted  with  Percy  Friday  and  Saturday  ; 
4  walked '  a  point-to-point  race  course  with  him  and 
Bendor  to-day  (after  attending  Church  in  the  morning), 
dined  with  Percy  and  Sibell  a  trois  for  the  4th  evening 
in  succession,  and  to-morrow  go  back  for  a  hideous  week 
of  the  House  and  Railway  Boards.  So  repulsive  is  that 
week,  ending  as  it  does  with  responding  for  '  Literature  ' 
to  Whitefriars  on  Friday — and  may  they  be  fried  !— 
so  grim  is  it,  that  I  adjourn  our  reunion  until  it  is  well  or 
ill  over. 

I  am  now  in  middle  life.  That  means  (1)  that  I  enjoy 
being  at  home  and  riding  to  hounds,  and  (2)  that  in  all 
human  likelihood — nay,  in  inevitable  certainty — I  cannot 
have  these  joys  for  much  longer.  In  ten  years  Percy 
will  be  31,  and,  too  probably,  married.  In  ten  years  I 
may  be  fat  or  busy.  Very  well.  Am  I  to  forego  the 
very  marrow  of  life  when  I  have  its  thighbone  between 
my  teeth  ?  Am  I  to  parade  at  Westminster  and  intrigue 
in  its  purlieus  ?  No  !  The  answer  is  '  No.' 

I  have  a  wife,  a  son,  a  home,  six  good  hunters  and  a 
library  of  Romance  literature.  I  mean  to  enjoy  them. 
If  I  am  wanted,  I  can  be  found.  I  spare  you  Cincinnatus 
and  Cato  major  (bis). 

In  this  part  of  the  world  I  am  known  as  '  The  Colonel ' 
qua  Yeomanry  ;  as  a  subscriber  to  the  Cheshire  Hounds  ; 
and,  politically,  as  a  robust  '  true-blue '  with  honest 
leanings  towards  Protection.  And  besides  I  love  to  hear 
the  thrushes  sing  and  to  watch  a  pair  of  lesser-spotted 
woodpeckers  that  are  building  in  our  garden. — Yours  in 
the  bond,  G.  W. 

P.S. — What  is  a  letter  without  a  postscript  ?  Let  me 
add  that  I  am  10  Ibs.  lighter  than  I  was  ;  that  I  have  made 
29  speeches  since  October  18th  and  hunted  on  26  days  ; 
that  I  have  read  a  good  deal  of  Virgil,  and  much  early 
French  both  of  the  Trouveres  and,  in  smaller  quantities, 
of  the  Troubadours.  That  I  have  studied  the  trade 
returns  ;  Dizzy's  '  Sibell '  ;  Charlotte  Bronte's  '  Shirley  ' ; 
some  Carlyle  and  Ruskin,  to  get  the  reflexion  in  literature 
VOL.  n.  s 


274          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

of  the  political  ineptitudes  that  must  be  remedied.  That 
is  *  the  kind  of  hairpins  we  are.'  To  balance  Dizzy  (early) 
and  Carlyle,  I  also  read  Bagehot  and  Lord  Avebury  in 

*  The   Times.'     But   they   don't   balance,   anything,   but 
their  ledgers  ;   or  discount,  anything,  but  bills. 

It  is  clear  to  me,  now,  that  the  British  Race  has  one 
foe — Cosmopolitan  Finance  with  an  oriental  complexion. 

*  Delenda  est  Carthago '  is  all  my  song.      I  have  twice 
repaired  to  the  crest  of  the  Cheshire  hills  and  looked  at 
the  fat,  fair  expanse  of  English  fields  with  their  smoulder- 
ing girdle  of  chimneys  around  the  far  horizon.     And  I 
have  sworn  that  they  shall  not  be  sucked  like  eggs  by 
the  weasels  of  pure  finance.     No,  nor  the  plains  of  Ireland 
either !     I  have  sworn  and  it  shall  be  in  accordance  with 
my  oath. 

663 

To  his  Mother 

36  PARK  LANE,  W., 

February  26th,  1908. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — You  and  Papa  will  be  inter- 
ested to  hear  that  I  shall  probably  have  to  follow  Asquith 
on  Monday  in  full-dress  debate  on  Armaments. 

It  is  short  notice — as  I  have  to  speak  on  '  Literature  ' 
Friday  night.  But  I  shall  dine  with  Manenai  and,  perhaps, 
if  she  agrees,  bring  dear  Hanson  with  me.  He  is  here  and 
can  help  me  over  the  old  track. — Your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

664 

To  Philip  Hanson 

10.iii.08. 

MY  DEAR  P.  H., — The  '  little  Gods  '  are  against  me. 
Thanks  to  your  letter,  I  have,  now,  a  speech.  But  I 
also  have  a  cold — &  bad  cold — and  I  may  not  be  able 
to  make  the  speech.  That  will  be  a  pity. 

But,  even  so,  I  shall  not  mourn. 


TO  PHILIP  HANSON  275 

For  I  have  got  to  the  heart  of  this  mystery  of.  the 
British  Army. 

The  answer  to  the  Sphinx  is  : 

(1)1  reject  your  Artillery — Special  Reserve. 

(2)  I  amend  your  Infantry  S.  R.  into  our 1  reserve 
battalions. 

I  say,  at  the  end,  you  are  for  Cardwell ;  Sir  P,  Mac- 
Dougall  said  two  things  : 

(a)  Identify  Militia  with  depot. 
You  have  done  it  with  a  vengeance. 

(b)  Don't  make  the  Dep6t  a  battalion  in  '  the  hurry  and 
rush  of  a  great  war.' 

Very  well — Perge  modo — 

Make  them  what  you  call  them — BATTALIONS,  and 
for  2,000,000  a  year  cheaper  than  was  possible  before  you 
had  '  IDENTIFIED  '  the  Militia. 

These  people  can't  do  it.  But  1  will.  And  you  must 
be  my  Mowatt  at  the  Treasury,  for  the  achievement, 
It 's  worth  doing. 

What  pleases  me  most  is  that  the  glacier-like  progres- 
sion of  facts  (the  French  '  La  chute  des  choses  '  reduced 
to  the  speed  of  the  English  illogical  glacier-progression) 
does  indicate  a  standard  for  our  Army  which  is  self-con- 
tained. It  is  that  the  Home  Regular  Army,  with  colours 
or  in  Reserve,  must  be  our  old  3  Army  Corps  or  Haldane's 
re-christened  6  divisions  (same  thing)  if  we  are  to 

1.  Maintain  Garrisons. 

2.  Liberate  Fleet,   reinforce  Garrisons,   deliver  counter- 
attack— 

Any  or  all,  and  that  for 

3.  Liberate  expeditions,  Expand  and  support  it,  Main- 
tain confidence  at  home. 

You  must  (i)  avoid  chasm  between  regular  and  citizen 
soldiers  in  peace,  if  you  hope  to  avoid  chaos  in  war ;  and 
(ii)  therefore,  in  peace,  have  enough  *  cadres  '  with  enough 
variety  of  design  to  cater  for  tastes. 

With  this  observation,  if  fewer  cadres  in  peace  more 
important  they  should  be  filled. 

1  (Yours  and  mine  of  1900.) 


276          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

If  of  uniform  shape,  less  likely  that  they  will  be 
filled. 

There  was  more  to  be  said  for  the  old  affair — in  Infantry 
156  battalions  Regulars 
123          „  Militia 

?  „  Volunteers, 

than  Brodrick,  or  Forster,  or  Haldane  have  discovered. 

But,  if  you  absorb  the  Militia,  you  must  make  your 
Special  Reserve  of  Infantry  into  a  short-service  Army, 
and  not  into  a  shelter,  competing  with  the  Salvation  and 
Church  Army  for  the  manufacture  of  Unemployed. — 
Yours  ever,  G.  W. 

P.S.— ll.iii.08. 

I  made  the  speech — very  shortly — I  suppose  because  I 
was  not  fit.  But  I  think  it  was  quite  clear  in  outline.  It 
only  took  just  over  40  minutes. 

The  '  lay '  mind  in  the  person  of  Harry  Chaplin,  pro- 
nounced that  I  had  exploded  Haldane's  scheme. 

He,  Haldane,  is  going  to  '  sleep  on  it '  and  reply  to- 
morrow. I  shall  have  to  sleep  too,  if  I  am  to  '  toe  the 
line  *  again. 


665 

To  his  Father 


35  PARK  LANK,  W., 
March  13th,  1908. 


MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  am  sorry  to  say  that  we  have 
people  dining  here  on  Saturday,  so  I  cannot  get  away. 

We  have  been  '  dusting  '  the  Government  well  during 
the  last  fortnight,  their  supporters  are  quarrelling  and  the 
House  looks  quite  dead. 

We  shall  get  the  ships  out  of  them  and  I  hope  to  get  the 
Field  Artillery.  I  spoke  well  last  night ;  but  am  badly 
reported.  Haldane  got  very  short  and  our  men  were 
pleased.  It  is  madness  to  break  up  thirty-three  batteries 
of  Field  Artillery  hi  order  to  train  civilians  for  ammunition 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  277 

columns.  And  the  special  Reserve  of  Infantry  is  a  danger : 
all  the  more  since  it  cannot  be  tested.  Nobody  will  know 
how  bad  it  is  till  the  war  comes.  I  fear  it  will  prove 
little  better  than  a  '  shelter '  for  the  unemployed  com- 
peting with  the  Salvation  Army's  efforts. 

All  love  to  darling  Mamma. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

666 

To  his  Sister,  Pamela, 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
March  IGth,  1908. 

MOST  DARLING  PAMELA,1 — I  have  been  thinking  of  you 
constantly  and  taking  comfort  from  scraps  of  news.  And 
I  have  been  meaning  to  write  news  to  you,  since  that  is 
all  I  can  do  whilst  you  are  imprisoned  by  this  detestable 
scourge  and  worried  by  the  baby's  illness.  But,  first,  I 
had  to  give  anything  the  chance  of  happening,  either  to 
me,  or  in  me,  which  I  could  conceivably  write  about.  It 
was  inconceivable  that  I  should  write  about  the  House 
of  Commons  ;  and  I  lived  there  till  last  Saturday.  Then 
I  broke  out. 

In  the  afternoon  I  went  to  the  Zoo  with  Sibell,  after 
lunching  with  darling  Manenai.  I  chose  the  *  Zoo.'  There 
were  other  suggestions,  as,  a  performance  of  'Pilgrim's 
Progress,'  and  a  concert  at  the  Queen's  Hall.  But  I 
needed  air  and  life,  preferably  of  a  primitive  kind.  So  I 
chose  the  Zoo  in  spite  of  SibelPs  remark  that  we  ought 
to  wait  until  we  could  go  with  children.  I  wanted  to  go 
for  myself  and  specially  to  look  at  Birds.  When  flying 
from  men,  I  avoid  monkeys  '  and  addict  myself '  to  birds. 
(Parrots  are  not  birds ;  and  are  useless  to  one  escaped 
from  the  House  of  Commons.  '  O  !  for  the  wings  of  a 
dove  '  is  an  aspiration  that  does  not  waft  me  to  the  voices 
of  parrots.) 

I  went  to  the  real,  bird-like  birds,  who  live  in  a  row, 

1  Hit  sister  and  children  were  in  quarantine  for  scarlet  fever. 


278          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

just  to  the  right,  after  entering  the  gardens.  These  birds 
are  like  our  birds — in  a  dream,  or  a  Grimm's  fairy  story. 
Naturally,  many  of  them  are  blue ;  others  are  green,  or 
orange,  or  earth-colour,  and  one  was  crimson.  Yet  they 
are  not  Macaws  or  Toucans  or  other  monstrosities.  They 
are  thrushes,  starlings,  pigeons,  doves,  robins,  partridges 
and  quails ;  but  of  slimmer  shape  and  brighter  colour 
than  our  birds.  And  some  are  mixtures  of  these,  and 
some  are  distinct — but  comparable — such  as  minas,  bower- 
birds  and  weaver  buds.  But  all  are  alert  and  happy  and 
vocal !  !  as  they  said  in  the  XVIIIth  century. 

In  front  of  the  first  cage  was  a  Kate  Greenaway  tree  of 
box — the  stem  three  feet  six  inches  high,  the  spreading 
top  four  feet  wide.  I  stepped  round  the  corner  and  in 
the  heart  of  the  green  there  sat  and  looked  at  me,  a  thrush, 
the  colour  of  an  orange.  There  he  sits  and  sings  :  as 
yellow  as  a  Walter  Crane's  '  Yellow  Dwarf.' 

There  were  miniature  doves  and  quails  no  larger  than 
wood-wrens,  or  small  pebbles  in  the  desert.  And  there 
was  one  mina — not  the  plump,  fat,  Indian  sort  of  mina — 
but  slim  as  a  shuttle  and  parti-coloured,  black  and  yellow. 
His  name  is  '  George.'  He  loves  mankind.  He — like 
Jx>rd  Nelson — never  knew  fear.  He  sat  on  my  fingers 
and  the  keeper  put  him  into  his  pocket.  As  I  walked 
away  I  saw  him  in  close  conversation  through  the  wire 
with  two  little  red-haired  girls,  who  had  walked  straight 
out  of  an  Holman  Hunt  picture.  He  does  all  this  from 
love  or  mere  absence  of  fear.  But  these  two  gifts  are 
almost  one.  Mere  absence  of  fear  carries  a  delicacy  denied 
to  the  appetite  of  gazelles,  however  graciously  embellished 
by  melting  eyes  and  insinuating  approach. 

Now  the  keeper  of  these  birds  has  a  great  contempt  for 
America.  '  They  call  that  a  "  blue  bird  " — the  common 
"blue-bird"  of  America;  but  it 's  a  robin.'  And,  looking 
at  the  profile  and  beak  one  sees  that  it  is  a  robin.  Or, 
again,  '  They  call  that  a  robin,  but  it  is  a  thrush.'  And 
one  sees  that  it  is  a  thrush ;  only  with  a  red  breast  and 
very  big  and,  so,  called  a  robin,  by  Americans.  This 
keeper  pierced  the  facile  deceit  of  the  large  and  obvious. 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  279 

He  made  a  profound  observation  of  Americans — apolo- 
getically— '  But  they  were  very  ignorant  when  they  went 
there.'  Thus,  did  he  dismiss,  and  forgive,  the  pilgrim 
fathers,  with  an  '  Ite,  missa  est.'  So  much  and  no  more 
for  the  '  Pilgrim  Fathers  '  who  landed  on  the  Plymouth 
rock.  But  what  of  their  descendants  ?  They  are  still 
ignorant.  They  class  by  superficial  resemblance  and 
claim  because  of  size.  Some  day  they  will  produce  an 
American  Bible,  much  bigger  than  our  Bible  and  as  like 
it  as  a  thrush  is  to  a  robin. 

From  the  birds  I  went  to  the  elephants.  I  detest  half 
measures : — after  a  fortnight  in  the  House  of  Commons. 
The  birds  are  beside  man's  life.  This  the  Romans  knew 
when  they  wrote  *  ubi  aves  ite  angeli ' — '  where  there  are 
birds  there  are  angels.'  But  the  elephants  are  before 
man's  life.  They  are  primeval  and  sacrosanct.  Yet 
they  like  to  be  fed ;  even  on  biscuits.  A  due  attention 
to  Birds  and  Elephants,  to  the  volatile  and  monumental, 
innures  one  to  time  and  prepares  one  for  Eternity.  We 
have  the  elephant's  glacier-like  progression  towards  a 
Geological  museum,  and  the  bird's  swift-dip  and  high 
quiver  of  *  indomitable  song.'  Both  are  for  ever  falling, 
at  different  paces  and  angles ;  as  '  Lucretius  '  declared 
in  six  books ;  crystallised  by  the  French  in  one  phrase — 
4  La  chute  des  choses.'  But,  for  me,  the  yellow  thrush 
singing  in  the  green  bush  and  the  fearlessness  of  '  George  ' 
are  immortal.  And,  if  for  me,  then  for  everybody,  for 
ever.  I  say  to  both 

'  Thou  wast  not  meant  for  death,  immortal  Bird. 
No  hungry  generations  tread  thee  down.' 

I  cannot  say  so  much  for  the  Gazelles.  Yet  because 
they  are  beautiful  through  voracious,  I  will  give  them 
immortality. 

But,  darling  Pamela,  the  last  thing  I  meant  to  do  was 
to  moralize.  I  went  to  the  Zoo  to  escape  morality. 

In  the  evening  we  dined  with  Lettice  and  Will  Beau- 
champ.  It  was  a  pleasing  entertainment ;  not  unlike 
the  Zoo.  For  we  had  Ambassadors  and  Ministers  of 


280          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

many  nations  suddenly  caged  in  surprising  contiguity, 
with  their  wives.  It  was  not  too  unlike  the  Zoo.  I  have 
dropped  into  poetry — like  Silas  Wegg. 

'  It  was  not  too 
Unlike  the  Zoo 
Because  the  speech 
Unique  to  each 
Discuss'd  the  food 
Which  all  found  good 
Beneath  the  pall 
Of  sleep  for  all.' 

I  sat  between  the  beautiful  Ambassadress  of  Spain  and 
the  wife  of  '  Lulu '  Harcourt.  The  Ambassadress  has 
beautiful  sloping  shoulders  and  a  delicate  way  of  unmask- 
ing the  batteries  of  her  South-American  eyes.  I  had  to 
talk  French — of  my  sort — to  the  Ambassadress.  But, 
to  each  flank,  we  talked  of  the  difficulty  of  talking  and 
the  solace  of  food.  So  it,  really,  was  the  Zoo  over  again. 
Speaking  and  eating  are,  respectively,  the  end  and  origin 
of  life,  if  you  come  to  think  of  it :  subsistence  and  expres- 
sion. 

This  morning — still  in  pursuit  of  a  holiday  I  walked 
through  Hyde  Park.  '  Lulu  '  Harcourt — as  First  Com- 
missioner of  Works — is  playing  the  Devil  there.  He  does 
not  understand  that  London  was  London,  and  cannot 
become  Paris,  or  Berlin.  So  he  gets  workmen  to  make 
4  Places  de  la  Concorde  '  and  *  Tea-house  Gazebos.'  He 
is  in  error.  But,  just  as  the  yellow  thrush  and  the  man- 
loving — because  fearless — bird  'George'  justified  the  'Zoo,' 
so  did  two  British  workmen  justify  Lulu's  Tea-house. 

I  saw  them  leaning,  one  against  the  end,  the  other 
against  the  wheel,  of  a  large  barrow.  They  were  motion- 
less figures  in  the  wind-swept  variety  of  the  Park  in  March. 
It  was  not  a  landscape  '  animated  by  figures,'  but  a  group 
of  two  statues  animated  by  wind -waved  branches.  As  I 
advanced  they  seemed  larger — in  accordance  with  the 
law  of  perspective — but  they  did  not  move.  Nor,  do  I 
think,  that  they  spoke.  But,  as  I  passed  the  group, 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  281 

they  spoke,  without  moving.  And  this  is  what  they  said. 
For  I  heard  them.  First  workman  to  second  workman. 
4  Well,  Sir,  I  think  it 's  time  that  we  should  do  something.' 
•Second  workman  to  first.  '  Right  you  are,  and  what 
would  be  better  than  half  a  pint  of  beer.'  They  are  one 
with  the  penguins  and  gazelles — putting  beer  for  fishes 
and  buns.  We  cannot  all  be  birds  or  elephants.  We 
cannot  all  be  swift  or  wise.  But  some  can  sing.  And  I 
do  wish  I  could  sing  to  you,  darling,  in  your  cage,  of  '  the 
Daedal  Earth  and  the  dancing  stars.'  For  all  life  is  good 
and  Eternal. — Your  devoted  brother,  GEORGE. 


667 

To  his  Mother 

36  PARK  LANE,  W., 

March  I8th,  1908. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  saw  your  letter  to  S.  S.  and 
longed  to  write  at  once.  But  I  had  a  strenuous  fort- 
night over  Navy  and  Army  ;  on  the  bench  every  day 
and  making  many  speeches.  I  wanted  to  say  that  we 
have  not  got  the  scarlet  fever  or  influenza.  But  I  begin 
to  believe  that  I  did  have  a  touch  of  influenza,  the  day 
I  spoke  on  Vote  A  for  the  Army.  However,  I  shook  it 
off — spoke,  and  am  none  the  worse. 

Enough  of  these  ailments  ! 

After  dealing  with  accumulations  of  letters  I  amused 
myself  on  Saturday.  I  wrote  of  that  to  Pamela  and  got 
Miss  King  to  copy  the  letter,  since  the  original  must  be 
burnt  on  the  altar  of  scarlet-fever.  It  may  amuse  you. 

I  must  go  back  to  the  bench  to-morrow,  instead  of 
hunting — as  I  had  hoped.  I  am  happy  to-night  because 
Perf  rode  in  the  Army  Point-to-Point  and  did  not  fall. 
I  gather  that  his — and  my — battalion  did  well.  Four  of 
them  '  ran-up  '  in  a  race  open  to  the  whole  Army. 

To-night,  George  Curzon  dined  alone  with  S.  S.  and 
self.  He  was  very  dear  and  affectionate. 

He  is  standing  for  the  Lord  Rectorship  of  Glasgow,  and 


282          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

I,  yesterday,  accepted  an  invitation  to  stand  for  the  Lord 
Rectorship  of  Edinburgh.  It  will  be  amusing  to  come 
out  together  and  useful  if  we  both  win.  I  am  afraid  that 
he  suffers  a  good  deal  of  pain. 

I  am  longing  to  see  you  and  papa.  But  I  am  rather 
hard  pressed  just  now.  Easter  will  be  all  the  more 
delightful.  We  will  sing  the  praises  of  '  La  Regina 
Avrillosa  '  together.  I  have  the  '  Army  '  again  to-day 
and  speak  on  Monday  at  Dover  against  the  Licensing  Bill. 

At  Easter  I  shall  begin  '  The  Springs  of  Romance '  in 
the  Barrel  room.  It  is  such  a  good  title  that  I  ought  to 
be  able  to  write  a  little  book  '  up  to  it.'  The  idea  is — 
Where  did  romance  come  from  ?  There  was  none  among 
our  Northern  ancestors  in  the  9th  century.  It  came 
from  contact  with  the  East  and  West — contact  with  the 
East  owing  to  the  conflict  between  Christendom  and  the 
Paynim  from  Roncevalles  onwards — contact  with  the 
West,  from  the  Geraldines'  transit  through  Wales  into 
Ireland. 

The  first  gives  me  the  run  of  the  '  Chanson  de  Roland  ' 
down  to  the  '  Arabian  Nights,'  by  way  of  the  Crusades. 
The  second  gives  me  the  run  of  the  Arthurian  cycle  and 
all  the  Celtic  glamour  from  '  Ossian  '  to  '  Percy's  reliques.' 

Incidentally  I  get  two  sub-chapters  :  one,  on  rhyme, 
traced  to  Arabia  eastward  and  the  '  Celts  ' — whoever  they 
were,  westward,  hi  Armorica,  Cornwailles,  Wales,  Ireland, 
Scotland — the  other  sub-chapter  will  take  the  *  religious  ' 
aspects,  eastward,  Platonism,  Christianity,  Gnosticism, 
Neo-platonism,  and  Islam :  westward — Fairy  stories, 
Folk-lore,  Stonehenge — Wishing-wells  are  the  relics  of 
some  old  Nature-Magic  that  was  the  religion  of  the  Stone- 
Age. 

In  all  this  you  will  agree  there  is  '  matter  for  a  May 
morning.' 

I  shall  stick  it  full  of  all  I  like— The  '  Regina  Avrillosa  7 
and  the  Border  ballads  ;  The  Castle  of  Clerimont  and  the 
Lady  of  Tripoli,  the  song  of  Roland  and  the  fall  of  Con- 
stantinople, Marco  Polo  and  Antoine  Galand — and  all  the 
songs  that  ever  were  sung  and  all  the  incantations.  In 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  283 

conclusion,  I  can  say  with  Malory  '  Now  all  this  was  but 
enchantment,'  and  invite  you  to  be  enchanted. — Your 
most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

668 

To  his  Mother 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
March  26th,  1908. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — You  will  like  the  enclosed.  I 
answered  that  I,  too,  had  an  Irish  mother. 

I  am  so  rejoiced  to  hear  that  Papa  is  quite  well  and  I 
cannot  tell  you  how  wildly  I  am  looking  forward  to  Clouds 
at  Easter.  For  added  delight  the  Installation  at  Dover 
is  postponed. 

Things  generally  are  smoothing  themselves  out — 
Pamela  is  happy  again.  Guy  comes  back  next  Sunday. 

Perf  ran  4th  yesterday  in  the  Brigade  Point-to-Point. 
Cuckoo's  family  are  through  their  measles  and  other  ail- 
ments. I  have  finished  with  the  Army  Debates  for 
another  year  etc.,  etc. 

If  I  can  get  a  copy  I  will  send  Papa  the  *  Morning 
Advertiser's  '  report  of  my  speech  on  Monday  at  Dover 
against  the  Licensing  Bill.  The  meeting  was  the  largest 
I,  or  anybody  else,  has  ever  seen  at  Dover.  The  Town 
Hall  was  jammed  ten  minutes  after  the  doors  were  opened 
at  7  for  the  meeting  at  8  o'clock. 

The  '  Maison  Dieu  '  Hall— the  old  '  Hubert  de  Burgh  ' 
one  next  to  the  Town  Hall  was  jammed  with  the  overflow 
by  7.30,  and  there  were  hundreds  in  the  street  who  could 
not  get  in  anywhere. 

The  only  thing  that  surprises  me  is  that  other  people 
did  not  foresee — as  I  did  two  years  ago — that  this  could  be 
the  only  end  of  such  a  Government  and  such  a  majority. 

Perf  was  4th  yesterday  out  of  a  field  of  fifteen.  His 
mare,  Solitaire,  has  everything  but  the  necessary  turn  of 
speed.  I  hope  he  will  get  to  Clouds  for  a  day  or  two. 
I  shall  bring  two  or  three  horses  and  my  lawn-tennis  shoes 
and  a  small  library  in  a  box.  I  had  a  good  talk  to  Mark 


284          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

Sykes,  just  back  from  Arabia  and  found — as  I  supposed — 
that  the  12th  century  is  still  going  on  there,  with  Trouba- 
dours, and  Jongleurs  all  complete. 

From  Belloc  I  have  another  touch  for  my  '  Springs  of 
Romance.'  It  is  strange  that  all  the  three  Roman  Legions 
in  Palestine  at  the  Crucifixion  were  Gauls.  That  accounts 
for  the  Grail  and  the  spear  of  Longinus.  If  Longinus  was 
a  Celt  present  in  Hellenistic  Syria  at  the  death  of  Our  Lord, 
it  becomes  easy  to  understand  Glastonbury. 

I  begin  to  see  that  the  pleasure  of  getting  older  consists 
in  understanding  the  History  of  the  world  better. — Your 
devoted  son,  GEORGE. 

669 

To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
27th  March  1908. 

MOST  DARLING  PAMELA, — I  praise,  you  can't  guess  how 
much  I  praise  your  visual  phrases — as,  e.g.,  '  in  grey-leaved 
cluster ' ;  that  is  admirable.  But,  if  I  am  to  say  what 
I  think — it  is  this.  You — or  anybody — would  have  to 
work  for  three  months  at  three  hours  a  day  on  this  theme 
to  finish  it.  And  this  is  the  point — it  is  worth  your  while, 
or  anybody's  to  work  for  that  period. 

But  work  there  must  be  on  two  separate  lines. 

(1)  You  must  state  separate  grammatical  propositions 
— or  aspirations — at  least  in  each  sonnet. 

(2)  You  must  finish  each  sonnet  in  the  form  with  which 
you  begin. 

If  you  don't,  or  can't,  or  won't,  do  that ;  then,  print  the 
whole  thing  as  an  effusion  of  6x14=84  lines. 

I  would  add  that,  even  in  an  effusion,  you  cannot  have 
— Dawn,  own,  lawn,  shown — as  alternating  rhymes.  They 
are  too  like  each  other,  they  have  no  difference  beyond  the 
difference  of  vowel  intonation. 

My  difficulty  is  that  you  get  some  visual  sentences,  and 
some  ethical,  or  aesthetical  feelings.  You  get  them,  I  can't 
get  them.  But,  then,  you  waste  them.  You  put  these 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  285 

joys  into  sentences  that  are  not  concluded,  and  you  put 
your  conclusive  sentences  into  poetical  forms  that  are  not 
observed. 

Granting — as  I  do — the  immense  merit  oi  your  des- 
criptive phrases  and  general  aspiration  towards  Beauty 
and  Peace,  I  must  say  that  they  demand,  and  deserve, 
better  treatment. 

I  feel  pretty  sure  that  this  poem — for  it  is  poetry  and 
not  verse — had  better  not  affect  the  sonnet  form.  I  am 
quite  sure  that  if  you  keep  to  the  sonnet  form,  the  poem 
must  be  re-written. 

But — Great  Heavens — if  I  had  that  amount  of  truly 
poetical  material,  I  should  not  bother  about  Politics  or 
anything  else. 

Taking  these  6x14  lines=84  ;  you  have  as  much  poetic 
wealth  as  Gray  in  his  Elegy,  and  far  more  poetic  wealth 
than  Campbell  had  for  the  Battle  of  the  Baltic.  Why 
are  Gray  and  Campbell  immortal  ?  Because  Gray  worked 
for  7  years  on  his  Elegy,  and  because  Campbell  reduced  a 
foolish  ballad  of  30  stanzas  to  a  classic  of  8  or  9  stanzas. 

In  this  desperate  business  of  writing  English  in  verse, 
it  is  necessary  to  do  two  things. 

(1)  You  must  say  what  you  mean,  without  over-lapping 
or  obscurity. 

(2)  You  must  conform  to  a  known  type  of  verse,  or 
invent  a  new  type  and  conform  to  that. 

In  this  case  I  should  not  affect  the  sonnet  form.  I 
should  call  the  whole  thing  '  My  Garden, '  and  give  the 
world  84  lines  of  good  verse,  exalted  by  rhyme.  Such 
lines  as 

'  The  Garden  has  a  soul,  it  has  its  moods 
As  any  sentient  mind  from  hour  to  hour ' 

are  perfect.  They  ought  not  to  be  cramped  in  a  sonnet 
sequence. 

I  have  written  some  sonnet-sequences.  I  cannot  print 
them,  unless  I  either  (1)  Work  at  them  for  10  years,  or  (2) 
Knock  them  out  of  the  sonnet  form,  and  work  them  into 
something  else  during  10  months. 


286          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

This  is  only  a  first  impression,  it  amounts  to  my  sure 
knowledge  that  you  have  got  in  these  84  lines,  the  pure  ore 
of  Poetry. 

But  that  you  have  not  yet  smelted  that  ore,  so  as  to  ex- 
clude all  dross ;  and  that  when  you  have  done  this  you 
must  mint  it  into  current  coinage. 

This  is  only  a  first  impression. 

Perhaps  you  would  be  right  to  leave  it  as  it  stands,  it  is 
full  of  beautiful  flowers  ;  of  flowers  so  beautiful  that  they 
cannot  die.  But  you  should  insist  on  their  living  by  any 
precaution  of  art. 

You  may  be  right.  I  am  a  mere  politician. — Your 
devoted  brother,  GEORGE. 

670 

To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

36  PARK  LANK,  W., 

27th  March  1908. 

MOST  DARLING  PAM, — I  am  so  impressed  by  the  beauty, 
freshness  and  truth  of  your  Garden  Verses,  that  I  must 
write  again. 

Perhaps  you  have  invented  a  new  form  of  verse,  you 
certainly  have  not  written  sonnets  in  the  strictest  sense. 
But  you  have  gone  much  nearer  than  Owen  Meredith  to 
importing  the  joy,  without  the  restrictions,  of  rhyme-forms 
into  English  ten-syllabled  lines. 

Your  sequence  cannot  be  made  into  sonnets,  it  is  a 
sequence  of  lines,  haunted  by  the  memory  of  sonnets. 
Leave  it  at  that,  so  far  as  form  is  matter  for  discussion. 
But,  now,  for  sense. 

What  is  the  sense  of  the  poem  ? 

What  do  you  know,  or  feel,  which  you,  the  poet,  mean  to 
teach  ?  Well,  what  ? 

The  liveliness  and  fragrance  of  flowers,  of  course,  that 
this  is  my  garden — '  connu.' 

But  the  new  things,  and  true  things,  which  you  say  are 
(1)  certain  flowers  that  do  not  please  everybody,  please 
me,  because  they  are  in  my  garden.  (2)  But  why  is  my 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  287 

garden  mine ;  not  by  private  possession  but  by  peculiar 
joy  ?  (3)  Because  it  has  no  boundaries.  There  is  the 
paradox,  which  inspired,  explains,  and  justifies  the  poem. 
(4)  My  garden  is  my  garden — a  mon  gr£ — because  it 
merges  into  the  high  chalk  Down  and  into  sedgy  marsh  of 
water-meadows  by  the  Avon.  (5)  It  has  no  boundaries 
and  hi  its  heart  are  wild-flowers.  (6)  And  to  conclude — 
anyway  it  is  fragrant  and  lovely,  and  a  delight  in  a  two- 
fold way,  (a)  it  is  not  restricted  ;  (6)  altho'  not  restricted, 
altho'  it  merges  into  the  Down  and  the  river,  altho'  wild 
flowers  camp  in  it,  my  own  selected  flowers  are  there,  and 
I  love  them,  and  love  them  the  more,  because  they  flourish 
in  liberty,  not  denied  to  the  wild-flowers  of  the  land  in 
which  I  live. 

Anyway,  that  is  the  impression  which  your  poem  makes 
on  me. 

If  it  is  not  the  impression  which  you  meant  your  reader 
to  feel,  you  must  begin  again. 

If  it  is  the  impression  which  you  meant  your  reader  to 
feel,  you  must  make  your  poem  more  precise. 

But  precise  in  sense ;  not  in  form.  Drop  the  sonnet 
form.  Concentrate  on  stating  and  illustrating  what  you 
feel  and  mean  to  make  other  people  feel. 

Above  all  do  not  cramp  the  lovely  poetry  of  your  des- 
criptive epithets  in  the  iron  mould  of  17th  century  sonnets. 

They  are  flowers  like  the  flowers  of  your  garden,  don't 
bruise  them  into  bunches. — Your  devoted  (but  tiresome) 
brother,  GEORGE. 

671 

To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

36  PARK  LANE,  W., 
2Sth  March  1908. 

MOST  DARLING  PAM, — Do  not  vex  yourself  with  my 
two  long  lumbering  letters  on  your  poem.  I  will  come  to 
you  as  soon  as  you  are  visible  and  tell  you  what  I  mean. 

All  love  to  you,  beloved,  and  rejoicings  at  the  end  of 
anxiety. — Your  devoted  brother,  GEORGE. 


288          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

672 

To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
30th  March  1908. 

DARLING  PAM, — Your  letter  made  me  happy.  Before 
it  came,  I  had  concluded  that  I  was  right  to  put  my  views. 
But  I  balanced  and  swayed,  backwards  and  forwards,  in 
my  mind.  And  as  I  am  very  scrupulous  about  Art,  I  felt 
that  I  had,  perhaps,  overstated  the  case  against  the 
sonnet-form,  when  I  said  (as  I  think  I  did)  that  it  would 
take  10  months  work  to  make  your  poem,  a  poem  in  6 
sonnets. 

For  a  penance  I  attacked  it  myself,  for  many  hours,  just 
as  if  it  had  been  mine. 

I  found  that  I  could  make  something  of  it  that  pleased 
me. 

That  involved  leaving  out  altogether  your  V.,  and  alter- 
ing the  order  of  the  others  to  your  I.,  IV.,  II.,  III.,  VI. 

There  are  two  main  things  to  be  done  to  this  poem. 

The  first  is  to  group  the  ideas  which  are  scattered 
through  it. 

The  second  is  to  reject,  quite  sternly,  anything  that 
'  won't  do  '  in  respect  of  form. 

(1)  For  the  first  purpose — grouping  of  ideas — one  has 
to  think  what  it  is  that  one  wishes  to  say,  and  to  say  that 
in  a  way  that  will  not  mislead,  for  example  ;    the  '  great 
hedge  '  in  I.  will  start  people  (who  don't  know  the  garden) 
in  the  idea  that  there  is  a  hedge  round  it,  they  receive  that 
impression.     Later  on  they  come  into  collision  with  one  of 
the  great  ideas,  namely,  that  the  garden  has  no  hedge. 
The  mere  repetition  of  the  rhymes — hedge  and  edge — is  a 
fault.     But  when  that  fault  confuses  the  statement  of  ideas, 
it  destroys  the  chance  of  the  poem  being  read  with  equani- 
mity. 

(2)  Form.     It  is  hopeless  to  start  a  long  poem  with  a 
quatrain  rhyming  abb  a — and  then  to  rhyme  all  the 
other  octaves  a  b  a  b,  c  d  c  d. 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  289 

These,  then,  are  the  main  considerations. 

I.  To  group  your  ideas,  and  establish  a  sequence  between 
them  that  can  be  followed. 

II.  To  observe  a  form  which  fulfils  the  expectations 
which  it  creates — or  else,  to  abandon  that  form  and  write 
to  please. 

In  another  and  lower  plane — less  important,  but  still 
important — it  is  necessary  to  observe  the  two  rules  laid 
down  by  Keats. 

Rule  (1).  We  must  be  misers  of  sound  and  syllable. 

Rule  (2).  We  must  fill  every  rift  with  ore. 

Briefly,  we  must  not  be  prolix  or  thin,  but  serried  and 
rich. 

For  example  in  your  III. — in  some  ways  the  best  of 
all  the  six  sonnets — there  are  two  faults  that  must  be 
amended. 

You  make  *  flower-cups '  rhyme  with  *  buttercups.' 
That  is  not  an  English  rhyme  because  the  sound  is 
identical,  and  it  is  not  a  French  rhyme  because  the  sense 
of  cups  is  identical. 

Having  said  that,  I  wish  to  retract  my  saying  that  it 
would  be  better  to  run  the  thing  into  a  continuous  whole. 

On  reflexion,  I  think  you  could  have  five  (not  six,  for 
4  the  Bee  '  is  an  intruder),  but  you  could  have  five  sets  of 
14  lines  each  ;  provided  that  the  first  8  in  each  were  con- 
cluded on  the  Shakespeare  model,  a  b  a  b  ;  cdcd;  and 
the  last  6 — as  sextets — on  the  Petrarchan  model.  That 
would  be  a  new  form.  But,  just  because  it  would  be  new, 
it  would  also  be  imperative  to  observe  it. 

This  could  be  done,  I  have  done  it;  working  in  your 
excellent  material  for  many  hours. — Your  devoted  brother, 

GEORGE. 

P.S. — Of  all  that  I  have  said,  by  far  the  most  important 
is  that  you  must  group  your  ideas,  all  the  more,  since  you 
have  at  least  three  main  ideas  that  are  new  and  true :  I 
mean  (1)  the  moods  of  the  Garden  at  different  hours  ;  (2) 
the  fact  that  the  Garden  has  no  boundary  or  hedge  ;  but 
merges  into  meadow  and  the  Downs ;  (3)  that  within  it 

VOL.  II.  T 


290          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

there  are  vagrants — such  tramps  as  Ragged  Robins  and 
Docks. 

All  these  three  ideas  are  worth  stating.  But  each  must 
be  stated.  There  are  subsidiary  sentiments,  of  these  two 
are  worth  preferring — (1)  the  Crown  Imperial's  tears ; 
with  the  child's  momentary  attention  and  the  world's 
unheeding  dance ;  (2)  the  Hemlock's  screen,  veiling 
the  sun-filled,  unclouded,  delight  of  Tulips,  etc.,  in  the 
sun. 

But,  tho'  subsidiary,  these  sentiments  must  be  arranged 
— or,  else,  omitted. 

From  all  this,  the  under-current  of  personal  emotion 
will  emerge  with  greater  force,  if  the  general  ideas  and 
sentiments  are  presented  in  a  sequence  of  thought,  instead 
of  being  suggested  by  sensation. — Your  devoted  brother, 

GEORGE. 


673 

To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
6th  April  1908. 

BELOVED  PAM,-  —I  am  hard  at  work  too  ;  on  a  speech — 
two  speeches. 

But  unless  I  send  you  the  scrawl  now — it  will  wait  a 
week — so,  here  it  is. 

Only  we  must  talk  it  over.  If  you  are  quite  disinfected 
I  might  ride  to  you  on  way  to  Clouds. 

In  answer  to  questions. 

I  think  all  the  octaves  should  be  in  one  model,  and  for 
choice  a  b  a  b/  c  d  c  d/.  Then  the  sestet  can  be  e  f/  e  f  e  f 
— or  e  f  e  f  g  g/.  But,  if  you  have  abba/  you  must  go  on 
abba/  or,  at  least,  a  c  c  a/.  If  you  start  a  Petrarchan 
octave  the  1st,  4th,  5th  and  8th  lines  must  have  the  same 
rhyme. 

Otherwise  you  disappoint  an  expectation  which  is  en- 
grained in  the  modern  mind. 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  291 

The  first  sonnet  is  the  hardest  to  deal  with. 

One  thing  I  had  not  mentioned.  You  cannot  have 
lawn,  own,  dawn,  shewn.  Because  they  are  not  different 
enough — their  consonantal  frame-work  is  the  same. 

I  mourn  bitterly  for  *  the  sunlight  pulsing  in  the  flower- 
cups.'  But  *  sups  '  is  the  only  rhyme  to  '  cups.'  If  you 
keep  '  flower-cups '  you  must  have  '  sups '  instead  of 
4  butter-cups.' 

Now  I  must  do  my  work. 

When  I  am  filing  at  lines  absurd  suggestions  make  me 
laugh.  I  find  myself  saying  or  making  the  breeze  say 
*  the  Dawn,  the  Dawn,  and  smell  of  hay  ! ' — Your  devoted 
brother,  GEORGE. 


674 

To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

35  PARK  LANE, 

Afternoon,  6th  April  1908. 

DARLING, — Just  an  after-thought  to  save  your  '  flower- 
cups.' 

end  of  your  3. 

Gardens  have  souls,  and  this  one  has  its  moods, 
I  love  the  leafy  stillness  of  its  woods. 

4. 

And  yet  I  love  its  glory  of  mid-day  ! 

The  sunlight  pulses  in  the  flower-cups, 

The  whole  world  swoons  to  the  sweet  scent  of  may 

golden 

Round      or       fields  where  the  bee  drones  and  sups. 

glittering 

It  is  not  necessary  to  say  butter-cups.  You  cannot  say 
butter-cups  if  you  say  flower-cups.  And  it  is-  not  neces- 
sary, for  if  you  say  golden  or  glittering  we  shall  see  butter- 
cups all  right. 


292          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

If  you  say  shimmering  or  quivering  we  shall  guess 
butter-cups  and  see  the  mirage  and  feel  the  heat. 

But — lordy  !  me — I  must  work  at  Tariff  Reform. — Ever 
devoted  brother,  GEORGE. 

675 

To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
6th  April  1908. 

MOST  DARLING  PAMELo, — I  am  delighted  with  your 
letters  about  the  sonnets.  And  now,  I  have  a  breath- 
ing space  to  write  a  less  breathless  answer  to  your  last 
letter.  I  have  mapped  out  my  big  speech  for  Thursday, 
attended  the  House,  and  welcomed  its  adjournment  for 
3  weeks.  I  feel  like  a  man  on  his  financial  beam-ends 
who  has  suddenly  been  left  a  legacy  of  £5000.  I  have 
two  whole  days  in  hand  !  Everybody  I  could  play  with 
has  gone  away.  Bendor  and  Perf  went  to  France,  par 
exemple,  this  morning.  And  but  for  the  Leeds  speeches 
I  should  now  be  on  their  track  in  the  night  mail,  wearing 
a  panama  hat,  like  Chamberlain,  as  a  note  of  defiant 
recuperation.  I  have  two  days  in  hand  ;  in  which  I  can 
ride  for  exercise,  sleep  for  rest  and  work  for  duty.  I  am 
a  Croesus  of  leisure.  Nothing  like  that  has  happened  to 
me  since  I  had  the  influenza. 

So,  for  joy,  and  to  prevent  relapsing  into  that  accursed 
speech  on  applied  economics,  I  will  infest  you  with  more 
words  on  Poetry.  It  is  always  well  to  remember  that 
Poetry  means  *  making  '  in  the  language  of  the  Greeks, 
who  understood  how  to  tell  the  heart  of  things  in  words. 
Poetry  is  this  business  of  making. 

Very  well  then  ;  I  shall  write  from  memory,  for  I  have 
posted  to  you  my  little  sketch  of  how  to  make  your 
material.  It  was  only  an  illustration  of  the  manner  of 
making  :  not  by  any  means  an  achievement.  Writing 
from  memory  ;  I  take,  as  my  point  of  departure,  the  line 
which  we  both  long  to  preserve  : — 

'  The  sunlight  pulses  in  the  flower-cups.' 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  293 

We  cannot  have  both  '  flower-cups  '  and  '  butter-cups,' 
so  we  keep  '  flower-cups.'  Because  that  is  poetry — a  con- 
tribution to  poetry,  since  it  is  new  and  true  and  visualised. 

That  being  decided,  we  must  have  4  sups.'  Because 
there  is  no  other  rhyme  to  '  cups  '  in  English  which  is  not 
plainly  grotesque.  (Browning  would  have  written  '  downs 
and  ups  '  instead  of '  ups  and  downs.'  But  such  inversions 
are  devilish.) 

Even  '  sups  '  is  grotesque,  unless  a  Bee  does  the  supping. 
So  we  must  have  a  Bee.  And,  note,  this  is  an  added 
reason  for  omitting  the  '  Bee  '  sonnet.  .  .  .  (Here  there  has 
been  an  interlude.  Sibell  came  in  and  I  declaimed  to  her 
all  the  heads  of  my  'applied  economics.'  She  has  now  gone 
to  bed,  amazed.)  I  resume.  .  .  .  Speaking  from  recollec- 
tion ;  I  put  the  sunlit  quatrain,  sharp,  against  the  Hem- 
lock— cavern — veiling  motif,  which  ends  *  I  love  the  leafy 
stillness  of  its  woods.' 

I,  originally,  proceeded  : — 

'  But  yet  I  love  its  glory  of  mid-day, 
When  sunlight  pulses  in  the  dew  it  sups 
And  all  the  world  swoons  to  the  scent  of  May 
In  flower  round  fields  of  glittering  buttercups.' 

— or  words  to  that  effect — as  they  say  in  a  law  court. 
On  reflexion,  I  point  out  that  the  effect  is  very  poor. 
Take  the  first  line  : — 

'  But  yet  I  love  its  glory  of  mid-day/ 

that  is  deplorable.     I  will  tell  you  why. 

4  But '  and  '  yet '  and  *  its  '  are,  all  three,  built  on  the 
same  plan  of  a  monosyllable,  confined  by  a  '  t.'  Consonan- 
tally,  that  is  impossible,  '  its  '  and  '  mid  '  are  by  vowel 
sound,  identical.  Assonantally,  that  is  wretched. 

Keats  said  that  his  music  was  born  from  the  rich  variety 
of  vowel  sounds.  I  say — bowing  to  his  grave — Yes,  with 
this  to  be  added.  Have  the  same  vowel  sound  to  support 
the  greater  stresses  of  rhythm  and,  so,  link  your  quatrain 
together,  apart  from  the  rhymes.  I  bow  to  Keats'  precept, 


294          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

and  cite  the  example  of  Shakespeare ;  who  always  sup- 
ported his  quatrains,  deliberately,  by  that  device. 

But  this  is  certain.  You  must  not  have  the  impoverish- 
ment of  identical,  or  closely  similar,  effects,  either  in  con- 
sonantal framework,  or  vowel  sounds,  unless  you  have  it 
on  purpose. 

English  poetry  revolves  itself  into 

I.  Selecting  and  grouping  Ideas ;    so  as  to  say  much, 
and  suggest  more. 

II.  Selecting  and  grouping  sounds ;    so  as  to  produce 
rich    variety,    and    sustain    consecutive    rhythm.     So    I 
change  the  line 

'  But  yet  I  love  its  glory  of  mid-day  ' 
into 

'  And  yet  I  love  its  glory  of  noon-day.' 

Thus  I  get  8  different  vowel-sounds  in  one  line — and  bow 
again  to  Keats.  I  would  say  *  the  glory  '  instead  of  *  its 
glory,'  but  for  the  fact  that  I  mean  to  end  the  line  with  a 
note  of  exclamation  (!)  and  go  on  with  the  line  we  cherish  : 

*  The  sunlight  pulses  in  the  flower-cups.' 

I  should  like  to  put  *  the,'  or  anything  else,  instead  of 
*  it '  or  *  its.'  Because  thinking — very  properly — of  the 
Garden — you  have  '  it '  and  4  its  '  multiplied  incredibly 
throughout  the  sequence.  Pausing  here  .  .  .  (Darling, 
I  am  shewing  you  how  I  work,  perhaps  in  quite  the  wrong 
way.)  Pausing  here,  I  see  that  I  need  not  have  '  the  sun- 
light.' I  might  say — more  largely — 

1  And  yet  I  love  the  glory  of  noon-day ' — 
(that  line  is  approaching  perfection) — and  go  on, 
'  Hot  sunlight  pulses  in  the  flower-cups ' 

or — avoiding  the  '  t '  sound — (it,  its,  yet)  and  avoiding 
two  *  the-s  '  in  one  line  : — 
Why  not 

'  Gold  sunlight  pulses  in  the  flower-cups '  ? 
That  gives  me  a  useful,  purposeful,  alliteration  from  the 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  295 

stress  on  glory,  in  line  1,  to  the  stress  on  gold,  in  line  '2. 
It  also  suggests  the  gold  colour  motif,  so  that  I  need  net 
say  golden  later  on.  My  readers  arc  seized  of  the  gold 
colour  idea.  And  if  I  help  them  by  saying  glittering  later 
on,  the  alliteration  will  not  only  clamp  the  quatrain  to- 
gether by  sustaining  its  major  stresses  of  rhythm,  it  will, 
also,  make  them  expect  the  colour  gold,  and  read  it  into 
the  resplendance  of  '  buttercups.'  This  helps  us  not  to 
say  buttercups.  In  poetry  we  suggest  by  selection  of 
sense  and  sound. 

So,  after  the  gloomy,  quiet  caverns,  beneath  beech- 
trees,  usurped  by  Hemlock,  that  shew  the  first  green  and 
the  first  sereness  ;  and  dim,  or  veil,  the  unabashed  sun-kist 
slopes  ;  and  after  reverting  to  that  mood  of  vast  sombre 
reticence — 

'  I  love  the  leafy  stillness  of  its  woods' 

you  explode  !  into — 

'  And  yet  I  love  the  glory  of  noon-day  I 
Gold  sunlight  pulses  in  the  flower-cups. 
The  whole  world  swoons  to  the  sweet  scent  of  May 
Round  glittering  fields  where  the  bee  drones  and  sups.' 

Personally,  I  should  make  the  fourth  line 

'  Blown  over  glittering  fields  where  the  bee  sups.' 

I  think  that  is  better — as  thus  :— 

'And  yet  I  love  the  glory  of  noon-day  ! 
Gold  sunlight  pulses  in  the  flower-cups. 
The  whole  world  swoons  to  the  sweet  scent  of  May 
Blown  over  glittering  fields  where  the  bee  sups. 
For  is  it  not  my  garden's  crown  of  crowns 
To  be  encompass'd  by  no  narrowing  hedge  ? 
It  wanders  to  the  freedom  of  the  Downs 
And  takes  its  own  way  to  the  water's  edge. 
Gaj  ragged  robin  and  the  vagrant  dock 
Whose  seeds  you  draw  into  your  passing  hand — 
Camp  in  the  waste,  made  pale  with  ladies-smock, 
Where  pollards  lean  over  a  marshy  land. 

for  a 

Shut  gardens  please.     But  this  one's  crown  of  crowns 

My  own  is 

Is  to  be  merged  in  meadow  and  the  Downs. 


296          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

I  put  '  shut '  instead  of  '  all '  because  (1)  it  suggests  the 
contrast — in  idea — of  the  '  hortus  inclusus  '  and  (2)  the 
*  sh  '  carries  on  the  '  sh  '  in  marshy — or  '  Wall'd  gardens  ' 
—that 's  better — and  carries  on  the '  ws.'  Darling,  I  could 
go  on  for  ever  in  this  vein.  But  you — by  now — are  pro- 
bably asleep ;  or  too  worried  to  sleep,  and  ready  to  rend  me. 
I  have  been  thinking  on  paper  with  my  pen  of  your 
poem.  Partly — mainly — to  please  you.  Partly,  hi  a 
lesser  degree,  to  escape  the  problems  of  Direct  Taxation 
on  the  assessment  of  mutual  credits. 

'  But  that  way  madness  lies.' 
I  shall  not  have  lived  in  vain  if  we  preserve 

'  The  sunlight  pulsing  in  the  flower-cups.' 
Your  devoted  brother,  GEORGE. 

P.S. — As  the  scribble  over  the  last  two  lines  is  a  variant 
to  avoid  *  this  one's  * — not,  perhaps,  quite  a  pretty  phrase 
-they  would  run 

'Shut  gardens  please.     But  for  a  crown  of  crowns 
My  own  is  merged  in  meadow  and  the  Downs.' 

(2)  *  Still  harping  on  my  daughter.'     I  now  want  to  alter 
line  4  again,  and  keep  the  t  droning,'  '  o,'  sound,  to  suggest 
the  stresses  and  clamp  the  quatrain  together ;  and  force 
people  to  see  buttercups  by  repeating  *  gold.' 
*  And  yet  I  love  the  glory  of  noon-day ! 
Gold  sunlight  pulses  in  the  flower-cups. 
The  whole  world  swoons  to  the  sweet  scent  of  May 
Round  fields  of  gold  where  the  bee  drones  and  sups.' 

WILSFORD  i 

(AS  CORRECTED  BY  G.  W.) 
1. 

Lilies  and  Pansies,  and  the  Pink  that  grows 
In  grey-leav'd  clusters  by  the  garden's  edge, 

Sweet-scented  Arabis,  the  climbing  Rose, 

Coil'd  Honeysuckle  ramping  the  great  hedge, 

1  The  poem  was  published  in  a  book  of  verse  under  the  title  of  '  Windlestraw,' 
by  Pamela  Tennant,  but  not  in  this  form.  The  first,  third,  and  fourth  stanzas 
appeared  under  the  title  *  Wilsford,'  the  fourth  stanza  being  completely  rewritten. 
The  second  and  fifth  stanzas  appeared  as  separate  sonnets  under  the  titles  '  Crown 
Imperial '  and  '  Dawn. ' 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  297 

The  Rose  named  Celeste  and  Rose  named  Dawn  : 
These  have  I  knowledge  of  because  I  love  them. 

Where  lush-green  water-meadows  meet  a  lawn 
They  lift  their  rapture  to  the  sky  above  them. 

I  love  this  garden.     When  the  noise  and  fret 

Of  living  saps  the  citadel  of  ease, 
I  court  its  precincts,  only  to  forget 

All  but  the  sunlight  of  its  silences. 
I  take  my  spirit's  road.     At  last,  the  wet 

Cool  rain  falls  suddenly  for  thirsty  trees. 

2. 
Rare  Crown-Imperial  holds  herself  apart ; 

She  droops  her  petals  from  the  shining  skies  (or  ardent) 
'Tis  said  she  has  a  deeply  wounded  heart 

Since  tears  are  ever  spangled  in  her  eyes. 
At  whiles  a  child,  abandoning  his  play 

Peeps  in  her  blossom,  touch'd  to  interest : 
'  O,  Crown- Imperial 's  crying  ! '  he  will  say, 

And  so  forget  her  for  another  quest. 

Life  scrapes  a  fiddle  for  the  world  to  dance, 

Swung  in  the  cadence  of  a  roundabout. 
The  grave,  the  gay,  the  few  with  radiant  glance, 

All,  trace  a  figure  in  the  motley  rout. 
And  Crown-Imperial  dances  with  her  peers  : 

Only  the  wise,  or  simple,  guess  her  tears. 


This  garden  has  a  soul  and,  so,  its  moods 

As  any  sentient  mind  from  hour  to  hour. 
I  know  the  leafy  silence  of  its  woods 

Vast  quiet  harbours  of  the  Hemlock-flower. 
The  Hemlock,  with  her  maze  of  delicate  lace, 

Whose  leaf's  the  first  green  leaf  of  all  the  year, 
Usurps  the  beech-trees'  overshadowed  space 

To  spread  her  forest  that  shall  first  be  sere. 

She  weaves  a  veil,  as  if  to  dim  the  slopes 
Of  sun-kist  joy  too  unabash'd  to  hide, 

Where  Tulips  blaze  and,  later,  Heliotropes 
Are  set  with  Poppies,  hectic  in  their  pride. 

Gardens  have  souls ;  and  this  one  has  its  moods  : 
I  love  the  leafy  stillness  of  its  woods. 


298          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

4. 

But  yet  I  love  its  glory  of  mid-day 

When  sunlight  pulses  in  the  dew  it  sups  (or,  where 

the  great  bee  sups) 
And  all  the  world  swoons  to  the  scent  of  May 

In  flower  round  fields  of  glittering  Butter-cups. 
For  is  it  not  this  garden's  crown  of  crowns 

To  be  encompass'd  by  no  narrowing  hedge  ? 
It  wanders  to  the  freedom  of  the  Downs 

And  takes  its  own  way  to  the  water's  edge. 

Gay  Ragged  Robin  and  the  vagrant  Dock 

— Whose  seeds  you  draw  into  your  passing  hand — 

Camp  in  the  waste  made  pale  with  Ladies'  Smock 
Where  Pollards  lean  across  the  marshy  land. 

All  gardens  please,  but  this  one's  crown  of  crowns 

Is  to  be  merged  in  meadow  and  the  Downs. 

5. 

Listen  !     I  know  this  garden  at  the  dawn : 

Before  the  day  breaks  on  a  world  made  new, 
When  cobwebs  drench'd  upon  the  grey-green  lawn, 

Are  meshes  that  have  caught  the  silver  dew  ; 
Before  the  birds  sing ;  long  before  the  sun 

Summons  the  swathes  of  vapour  to  arise — 
Just  when  the  night  is  overpast  and  done, 

And  yet  no  daylight  quickens  in  the  skies : — 

Then,  there 's  no  murmur  from  the  idle  trees. 

The  voiceless  Universe  is  robed  in  grey 
And  tranced  to  hear  expectant  ecstasies  ; 

As  if  each  leaf  upon  each  separate  spray 
Were  listening,  waiting,  till  a  little  breeze 

Whispers  '  the  Dawn,  the  Dawn  '  and  dies  away. 


CHAPTER  XII 

APRIL  1908  TO  JANUARY  1910 

The  Asquith  Ministry — Dover  Pageant — Dover  Harbour — Cavalry 
Manoeuvres — Francis  Thompson's  'Shelley' — Lord  Rector  of  the 
University  of  Edinburgh — The  Education  Bill — France — General 
Election  Campaign. 

676 
To  his  Father 

STANWAY, 
WINCHCOMBE,  April  14th,  190B. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  am  motoring  over  to  Clouds  on 
Thursday  with  Mary,  in  Arthur  Balfour's  motor. 

I  am  bringing  two  horses  and  a  groom.  I  hunted  here 
on  Saturday  and  had  quite  a  pleasant  gallop.  The  meet 
was  at  Broadway.  Since  then  the  fun  here  has  been 
*  fast  and  furious.'  The  Party  consisted  of  Arty  Paget  and 
Lady  Muriel,  Professor  W.  Raleigh  and  his  wife — Madame 
Benkendorf,  H.  Cust  and  wife,  a  young  man  from  Balliol, 
called  Ridley,  Cyncie,  and  A.  J.  B. 

Mary — I  must  tell  you — asked  me  to  come  '  and  see  her 
quiet  home  life.'  I  have  never  heard,  and  rarely,  made 
more  noise  before.  But  all  very  amusing.  A.  Paget  is 
a  '  Pied  Piper  of  Hamelin  '  with  his  guitar — and  we  were 
rats  who  danced  to  his  music. 

I  rode  yesterday  with  Cyncie  along  the  Cotswold  and 
motored  to-day  to  see  the  stained  glass  in  Fairford  Church. 
— Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

677 

To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

HOUSE  OF  COMMONS, 
7th  July  1908. 

DARLING  PAMELO, — The  invitation  is  most  fascinating. 
But  I  am  afraid  I  cannot  get  away.  The  last  four  weeks 

sra 


300          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

of  the  Session  are  always  odious.  And,  this  year,  I  have 
to  be  in  Dover  the  Monday  27th,  28th,  29th  and  30th,  for 
the  Pageant.  This  I  must  do,  as  my  Doverians  have 
spent  £8000  on  it,  and  I  have  to  be  there  and  ask  people 
down,  and  introduce  Royalties  and  give  luncheon,  etc., 
and  so  on.  As  I  have  to  get  away  on  the  Friday  and  make 
a  big  speech  to  8000  people  in  Cheshire  on  August  3rd, 
I  dare  not  encroach  on  the  Saturday-Sunday,  25-26. 
They  are  my  two  days  for  preparation. 

I  will  not  grumble.  My  rule  is  to  acquiesce  in  July, 
like  a  fish  letting  the  rapids  go  over  him.  Or  rather  that 
is  my  ideal.  The  practice  is  more  like  a  hen  dodging 
motors  on  the  Ripley  Road. 

I  know  you  won't  come  to  Dover  on  Tuesday  28th  or 
Thursday  30th — best  days — but  I  wish  you  would,  bring- 
ing Bim  and  Clare.  It  is  going  to  be  quite  delightful. 
Arthurian  Prologue — William  the  Conqueror  coming  over 
to  Western  Heights  and  leaving  Kent — '  Invicta  '  with  her 
Saxon  customs — John  and  Pandulph — Edward  i.  return- 
ing with  my  beloved  Eleanor  from  the  last  Crusade—- 
Henry v. — Harry  our  King — and  Kate  of  France — 
Henry  vm.  starting  for  Field  of  Cloth  of  Gold — and  finally 
Charles  i.  receiving  Henrietta  Maria. 

The  last  Act  is  written  by  Tiercelin  in  brilliant  French 
Alexandrines.  The  French  parts  are  acted  by  French 
actors  and  actresses.  They  will  speak  real  broken  English. 
The  English  parts  by  Englishmen  who  will  speak  real 
broken  French. 

I  know  you  won't  come,  but  I  should  like  you  to  see  it, 
as  I  invented  the  selection  of  scenes  as  a  glorification  of 
the  Sea  and  the  '  Entente.' 

The  poetry  is  by  Rhodes  and  the  songs  excellent. 

I  am  particularly  pleased  at  having  brought  in  King 
Arthur  out  of  Caxton's  preface  to  Malory.  I  was  tired  of 
the  Early  Britons  and  monastic  martyrs  with  skulls,  as 
St.  Alban  and  St.  Edmund,  so  I  said  *  skull  for  skull,  give 
me  Gawain,'  whose  skull,  according  to  Caxton,  was  to  be 
seen  at  Dover. 

There  is  a  deeper  point  in  this  Prologue  ;  as  thus — 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  301 

Our  Arthurian  Romances  were  written  at  the  time  of 
Henry  n.  and  John. 

Besides  being  poems  based  on  Welsh  mythology,  picked 
up  as  the  Geraldines  went  through  Wales  to  conquer 
Ireland,  they  also  reflect  the  politics  and  events  of  the  age 
in  which  they  were  written.  They  reflect  Henry  ii.'s 
dominion  from  the  Pyrenees  to  the  Grampians ;  the 
Interdict  under  John ;  and  the  Crusades.  They,  there- 
fore, supply  a  proper  prologue  to  the  episodes  of  John  and 
Edward  i. 

Incidentally  we  shall  build  a  ship  to  a  sea  chorus  of 
hammer'd  planks. 

I  propose  to  attend  the  Cavalry  Manreuvres  with  Sibell 
and  shall  look  you  up  if  we  get  near  Stonehenge  the  week 
of  August  17th. — Your  devoted  brother,  GEORGE. 


678 
To  his  Mother 

GRAND  HOTEL, 
DOVER,  July  29th,  1908. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  wished  that  I  could  have 
loeen  next  you  at  the  Pageant.  There  was  plenty  of 
armour  in  it  but,  perhaps,  not  enough  fighting.  I  thought 
the  4  Mobled  Queens  '  very  good,  when  Gawain's  corse 
was  carried  out.  I  like  best  the  Arthurian  Prologue  and 
the  last  episode  with  Henriette  Marie,  and,  above  all,  the 
marching  and  counter-marching  at  the  end.  I  hope  dear 
Papa  was  not  tired.  I  am  sorry  I  bundled  little  George 
into  your  full  carriage.  But  I  had  been  keeping  the  train 
for  him  for  three  minutes  and  the  officials  were  fussing. 
Arthur  Balfour  was  very  keen  and  sympathetic.  The 
whole  drama  is  a  good  work  of  art.  All  the  ladies  near 
me  fell  in  love  with  Henry  v.  a  young  Irishman — French- 
Blake — in  the  East  Kent  Yeomanry. 

I  did  all  the  work  of  carriages  and  seating  forty-seven 
at  lunch  and  40  in  the  Royal  enclosure  over  night.  So 
yesterday  morning  I  amused  myself.  We  did  the  Castle 


302          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

at  10  o'clock  and  had  the  Harbour  Board  Tug  at  11 
o'clock.  In  her  we  went  all  round  the  harbour  inside 
and  outside.  It  is  pleasant  to  see  and  know  that  the 
promenade  pier,  the  Prince  of  Wales'  Pier,  the  National 
Harbour,  the  berth  for  the  Red  Star  Liners,  the  broadening 
of  the  Admiralty  Pier  for  Marine  Station,  and,  last,  the 
Craning  Dock — which  passed  the  Lords  on  Monday — are 
all  in  a  considerable  degree  my  own  work.  I  look  at  them 
from  the  flag-staff  in  the  Keep  and  smile  as  I  remember  the 
hours  I  have  spent  treading  the  alien  stairs  of  Government 
offices  and  colloguing  with  distracted  parliamentary  agents. 

After  the  Pageant  S.  S.  and  I  drove  off  and  paid  a  visit 
of  ceremony  to  Lord  and  Lady  Brassey  on  the  '  Sunbeam.' 
Tiercelin,  the  French  poet, — a  Breton  and  Catholic — who 
wrote  the  last  episode  and  the  Comte  de  Belabre  dined 
with  us.  We  had  a  great  '  go  in  '  over  French  poetry 
and  Celtic  legends. 

This  afternoon  I  must  work  at  my  speech  and  look  in 
at  the  Pageant  for  the  end — which  I  think  quite  beautiful. 
The  six  silver  trumpets  are  a  joy  and  the  ship  '  Invicta  ' 
with  the  shields  hanging  over  her  side. — Your  most  loving 
son,  GEORGE. 

679 

To  his  Father 

HEADQUARTER  STAFF  CAMP, 

CAVALRY  DIVISION, 
SALISBURY  PLAIN,  August  16th,  1908. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA,— Here  I  am  in  General  Scobell's 
Camp.  There  are  four  Cavalry  Brigades,  R.H.A.,  etc. 
So  we  spread  over  a  great  extent  of  country.  But  this, 
the  Head  Quarter  Camp,  is  by  Barrow  Plantation,  on  the 
Salisbury  to  Devizes  road,  just  two  miles  north  of  Orches- 
ton  St.  Mary,  and  one  mile  west  of  Rushall  Down.  I  will 
wire  if  I  hear  that  we  are  working  your  way. 

We  had  six  days  hard  polo  at  Eaton.  I  enjoyed  it  very 
much,  but  shall  enjoy  this  even  more.  All  love  to  darling 
Mamma. — Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 


TO  HIS  FATHER  303 

680 
To  his  Father 

HEADQUAHTKHS  STAFF  CAMP, 
SALISBURY  PLAIN,  August  17th,  1908. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  am  afraid  we  shall  not  come 
towards  Clouds. 

The  centre  of  our  camps  is  Ell-Barrow,  which  you 
remember  no  doubt.  We  worked  from  there  this  morning 
to  Knighton  Down  and  attacked  back.  It  is  a  magni- 
ficent sight  and  one  which  has  never  been  seen  before 
in  England.  There  are  four  brigades=12  regiments=36 
squadrons  and  48  Horse  Artillery  guns.  We  galloped  the 
last  three  miles  to-day.  It  is  not  possible  to  describe  the 
effect  of  such  bodies  gliding  over  the  downs,  up  the  ridges 
and  sweeping  the  hollows  (where  our  ponies  used  to  '  take 
charge  ')  and  finally,  charging  home. 

I  am  riding  on  Scobell's  staff  and  he  is  very  kind  and 
attentive  to  me.  This  is  very  much  better  than  being  in 
the  visitor's  camp,  where  there  are  36  officers  together  who 
merely  ride  about  and  look  on,  with  orders  not  to  show 
themselves  too  much. 

To-morrow  we  do  much  the  same,  Wednesday  and 
Thursday  we  shall  go  over  the  river  between  Netheravon 
and  Amesbury.  The  only  way  you  could  see  anything 
would  be  to  train  to  Salisbury  and  motor  out.  If  you 
do  decide  to  do  this  Wednesday  or  Thursday,  send  me  a 
wire  and  I  will  try  to  wire  where  we  are  likely  to  be  about 
11  o'clock.  Love  to  darling  Mamma, — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

681 
To  Wilfrid  Ward 

ST.   PAGAN'S  CASTLE, 
CARDIFF,  August  28th,  1908. 

MY  DEAR  WILFRID, — I  have  been  in  camp  on  Salisbury 
Plain  with  the  Cavalry  Division — an  invigorating  experi- 


304          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

ence.  But  the  conditions  precluded  any  study  of  the 
*  Shelley  '  article.1  I  reserve  that  for  next  week,  and  am 
preparing  by  reading  a  good  deal  of  Shelley.  My  interest 
is  sharpened  by  your  letter  and  the  criticism,  or  rather 
panegyric,  of  the  '  Observer.'  It  is,  also,  but  a  few  weeks 
— four  I  think,  since  I  visited  Wilfrid  Blunt,  saw  a  sketch 
of  Francis  Thompson  drawn  just  before  his  death,  read 
some  of  his  poetry  aloud  and  heard  all  his  story  in  great 
detail.  I  believe  that  Wilfrid  Blunt  could  send  you  an 
interesting  article  on  Thompson. — Yours  ever, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

682 
To  his  Father 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
August  31st,  1908. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  am  very  glad  to  know  that  you 
saw  the  Cavalry  Division  at  work.  It  was  and,  probably 
will  remain,  a  unique  sight.  There  was  never  anything 
quite  like  it  before.  And,  next  year,  I  expect  that  the 
manoeuvres  will  be  on  a  larger  and  slower  scale,  embracing 
Infantry  and  Field  Artillery.  These  Cavalry  Manoeuvres 
were  an  epoch  in  Cavalry  Drill — a  '  little  classic  '  in  their 
way.  The  Learned,  when  they  discuss  them,  talk  of 
Alexander,  Cromwell,  and  Seidlitz.  The  point  is  that 
masses  of  mounted  men  were  moved  rapidly  over  gradients 
in  consonance  with  an  idea  and  without  losing  co-operation 
between  component  parts.  That  is  important. 

If  Germany  fights  France  and  we  have  to  go  to  Belgium, 
it  counts  that  we  can  put  in  four  brigades  of  such  Cavalry, 
with  their  Horse  Artillery. 

I  saw  a  good  deal  of  your  German  I.  G.  General  Count 
Von  Dohne.  He  seemed  to  me  to  be  a  capable  man.  He 
looked  at  every  horse  and, — as  I  thought  too  closely  at 
some  of  our  '  dodges '  such  as  our  method  of  horsing 
Artillery.  But  he  was  a  capable  and  gallant  old  boy. 
When  I  conducted  them — the  foreigners — through  the 

5  By  Francis  Thompson. 


TO  WILFRID  WARD  305 

Cavalry  School  at  Netheravon,  someone  said  *  the  road  is 
up.  They  have  dug  a  deep  trench  across  it.'  I  went  on 
and  jumped  a  wide  and  deep  trench  with  a  drain-pipe  at 
the  bottom.  Old  Von  Dohne  jumped  after  me  and  all  the 
rest  of  the  Staff  went  round. 

Perf  arrived  here  to-night.  We  meant  to  be  together 
with  Sibell  till  you  come  on  the  llth,  but  Lily  Zetland  is 
ill  and  wants  Sibell.  So  Perf  and  I  feel  we  must  make  a 
dash  somewhere.  We  both  have  work  ahead.  He  has 
manoeuvres  on  the  12th  and  then  cramming  for  his  Exam. 
I  have  the  Autumn  session  and  speeches.  We  should 
languish  here,  so  we  go  off  to  Venice  for  a  day  or  two  and 
return  for  the  llth.  The  choice  lay  between  that  and 
Scotland.  And  we  preferred  the  sunny  South. 

After  our  work  we  hope  to  hunt  together  in  December 
and  have  decided  that  if  it  freezes  we  will,  at  once,  go  to 
St.  Petersburg  and  see  Guy.1  The  Mintos  asked  Perf  to 
spend  his  leave  at  Calcutta  as  an  extra  Aide-de-Camp. 
He  says  *  No  '  this  year.  But  will  do  it  next  year. 

Their  Military  Secretary  advised  them  to  ask  him.  I 
believe  that  he  will  make  soldiering  his  profession.  I 
think  he  is  right. 

WJien  I  was  young  soldiering  '  petered  '  out  and  politics 
became  important.  Now  politics  are  petering  out  and 
soldiering  is  becoming  the  crux. 

So,  as  he  must  jaunt  at  his  age,  I  mean  to  jaunt  with 
him — to  Venice  this  week,  and  to  Petersburg  if  it  freezes 
after  Christmas. 

I  am  looking  forward  tremendously  to  your  visit  on  the 
llth. 

683 
To  Wilfrid  Ward 

SAIGHTON, 
CHESTER,  September  16/A,  1908. 

MY  DEAR  WILFRID, — I  reached  home  from  Venice  on 
Saturday,  and  of  Venice  I  will  say  a  word  later.  I  must 

1  His  brother  was  Military  Attache  at  St.  Petersburg. 
VOL.  II.  TJ 


306          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

now  tell  you  that  I  have  read  Francis  Thompson's '  Shelley ' 
more  than  once  to  myself,  and  once  aloud  to  Sibell,  my 
mother  and  father.  I  was  rash  when  I  promised  a  full 
letter  on  it.  I  cannot  write  one  to-night ;  nor  indeed 
until  I  have  digested  it  finally  after  further  rumination. 

For  the  moment  I  will  say  that  it  is  the  most  important 
contribution  to  pure  Letters  written  in  English  during 
the  last  twenty  years.  In  saying  that  I  compare  this 
essay  in  criticism  with  poetry  as  well  as  with  other  critical 
essays. 

Speaking  from  memory,  Swinburne's  last  effective 
volume,  *  Astrophel '  with  the  '  Nympholept '  in  it,  came 
out  in  '87  or  '88  ;  Browning's  'Asolando'  in  '89.  Tenny- 
son's '  CEnone '  is  also,  I  think,  at  the  verge  of  my  twenty 
years.  But  even  so,  these  were  pale  Autumn  blossoms 
of  more  radiant  Springs.  It  may  be — when  posterity 
judges — that  Thompson's  own  poems  will  alone  overthrow 
this  opinion.  But  I  doubt  if  they  ought  to.  There  is 
more  of  Thompson  in  this  essay  than  in  his  poems.  In 
any  case  there  is  a  strain  in  a  comparison  between  criticism 
and  poetry ;  prose  and  verse. 

It  is  more  natural  to  seek  comparison  with  other  essays 
devoted  to  the  appreciation  of  poetry. 

I  have  a  very  great  regard  for  Matthew  Arnold's  *  Essays 
in  Criticism  ' :  partly  reasoned,  partly  sentimental.  But 
they  were  earlier.  They  did  not  reach  such  heights. 
They  do  not  handle  subjects — as  a  rule — so  pertinent  to 
poetry.  When  they  do  in  the  '  Wordsworth  '  and  '  Byron  ' 
(2nd  series)  they  are  outclassed  by  this  essay.  The  Heine 
essays  deal  with  religion  rather  than  poetry. 

The  only  recent  English  essay  on  poetry  and,  therefore, 
life  temporal  and  eternal,  which  challenges  comparison 
as  I  read  Thompson's  *  Shelley  '  is  Myers'  *  Virgil '  and, 
specially  the  first  part. 

I  think  these  two  are  the  best  English  essays  on  poetry, 
of  our  day.  Myers  gams  by  virtue  of  Virgil's  wider  appeal 
to  mortal  men  in  all  ages.  Thompson  gains  by  virtue  of 
the  fact  that  he  is  himself  a  poet,  writing  on  the  poet  who, 
in  English,  appeals  specially  to  poets.  His  subject  is 


TO  WILFRID  WARD  307 

narrower,  but  his  style  is  incomparable  in  the  very  quali- 
ties at  which  Myers  aimed  ;  of  rhythm  and  profuse  illus- 
tration. Both,  perhaps,  exceeded  in  these  qualities. 
But  Thompson,  the  poet,  is  the  better  man  at  varying 
and  castigating  his  prose  style.  He  is  rich  and  melodic, 
where  Myers  is,  at  moments,  sweet  and  ornate.  Both  are 
sentimental,  and  each  speaks  out  of  his  own  sorrow. 
Myers  sorrowed  after  confirmation  of  Immortality. 
Thompson  sorrowed  out  of  sheer  misery.  When  Myers 
writes  of  Virgil's  '  intimations  '  of  Immortality  he  is  think- 
ing of  his  own  sorrow.  When  Thompson  writes  of  Mangan's 
sheer  misery  he  is  thinking  of  his  own  slough  of  despond. 
Both  meant  to  be  personally  reticent.  But  Thompson 
succeeds.  Unless  I  knew  Thompson's  story  I  could  not 
read  between  the  lines  of  his  wailing  over  Mangan.  But 
any  one  who  reads  Myers  sees  the  blots  of  his  tears.  Again, 
Myers  is  conscious  of  Virgil  as  a  precursor  on  the  track  of 
unrevealed  Immortality.  Thompson  seems — is,  I  believe 
— unconscious  of  any  comparison  between  himself  and 
Shelley,  as  angels  ascending  the  iridescent  ladders  of 
sunlit  imagination.  He  follows  the  '  Sun-treader  '  with 
his  eye,  unaware  that  his  feet  are  automatically  scaling 
the  Empyrean. 

That  his  article  is  addressed  to  Catholics  in  no  degree 
deflects  his  aim.  It  begins  with  an  apologia  for  writing 
on  Shelley.  It  ends  with  an  apologia  for  Shelley.  These 
are  but  the  grey-goose  feathers  that  speed  it  to  the 
universal  heart  of  man.  There  it  is  pinned  and  quivers. 

But  enough  !  I  am  glad  that  you  display  this  '  captain 
jewel '  in  a  good  *  carcanet.'  The  number  (of  July)  is 
excellent  and  '  editorially  '  a  plumb-centre  ;  with  a  right 
good  article  from  the  editor  into  the  bargain. 

Of  this  I  cannot  write  now  ;  still  less  of  Venice.  At 
another  time  I  could  expatiate,  but,  believe  me,  it  was 
good  to  be  alone  with  my  boy  on  a  yacht  off  the  Ponte 
della  Salute  ;  it  was  good  to  see  a  procession  ascend  the 
steps  of  S.  Maria  della  Salute  on  the  feast  of  her  nativity  ; 
it  was  good  to  swim  in  the  Adriatic  ;  it  was  good  to  see 
Tintoretto  ;  it  was  good  to  read  Villehardouin  on  the  spot 


308          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

where  he  and  his  three  companions,  as  ambassadors  of  the 
Chivalry  of  Europe,  knelt  in  1202  and  would  not  rise  till 
Venice  vouchsafed  Christendom's  request  for  ships  so  that 
the  shame  of  our  Lord  might  be  avenged. 

The  older  I  get  the  more  do  I  affect  the  two  extremes- 
of  Literature.  Let  me  have,  either  pure  poetry,  or  else, 
the  statements  of  actors  and  sufferers.  Thompson's 
article,  though  an  essay  in  prose  criticism,  is  pure  poetry, 
and  also,  unconsciously,  a  human  document  of  intense 
suffering.  But  I  won't  pity  him.  He  scaled  the  heavens 
because  he  had  to  sing,  and  so  dropped  in  a  niche  above  the 
portals  of  the  temple  of  Fame.  And  little  enough  would 
he  care  for  that !  Why  should  he  ?  Myers  doubted. 
But  he  knew  that  souls,  not  only  of  Poets,  but  of  Saints 
4  beacon  from  the  abodes  where  the  Eternals  are.'  He  is 
a  meteor  exhaled  from  the  miasma  of  mire.  And  all 
meteors,  earth-born  and  heaven-fallen,  help  the  heavens 
to  declare  the  Glory  of  God.  Coeli  enarrant.  But  the 
grammar  of  then*  speech  is  the  '  large  utterance  '  of  such 
men  made  *  splendid  with  swords.' — Yours  ever, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

P.S. — Reverting  to  Thompson's  article  and  its  place 
in  the  pure  literature  of  recent  years ;  I  ought  to  mention 
Walter  Raleigh's  '  Milton,'  and  with  even  greater  gratitude 
his  4  Wordsworth.'  But  these  are  books.  Of  single 
essays  on  a  high  poetic  theme,  I  adhere  to  Myers'  *  Virgil  r 
and  Thompson's  '  Shelley,'  and  put  Thompson  first. 

684 
To  his  Father 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
Michael  Mass,  1908. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  enjoyed  my  visit  to  Clouds 
immensely.  I  wish  Perf  could  have  been  there.  We  mean 
to  grow  wild  chicory  here,  if  possible.  It  is  a  lovely  flower. 

At  Wynyard  I  met  an  interesting  group — Buckle,  editor 
of  the  'Tunes' — who  was  effusive  to  me — Morant,  the 
permanent  head  of  the  Education  Office — Moneypenny, 


TO  HIS  FATHER  309 

who  is  writing  the  life  of  Dizzy.  I  had  talks  with  all 
three.  Then  Metternich — German  Ambassador — arrived 
on  the  scene.  He  is  not  well  disposed  towards  the  *  Times.' 
He  is  always  silent. 

On  this  occasion  he  arrived  at  6  o'clock.  Said  nothing 
— turned  the  whole  establishment  upside-down  in  order 
to  send  a  motor  at  midnight  to  Darlington,  and  left  at 
8  A.M.  the  next  morning.  All  this  happened  because  of 
the  Bulgarian  crisis  which  the  Germans  are  fomenting. 
They  mean  to  have  a  war  :  not,  necessarily,  in  the  imme- 
diate future,  but  some  day,  and  pretty  soon.  So  they  pour 
acids  into  Morocco  and  Bulgaria  and  tell  lies  all  the  time. 
But  having  neither  the  old  brutality  of  their  Bismarck, 
nor  the  finesse  of  old  France,  their  attempts  at  lying  afford 
an  excellent  substitute  for  blurting  out  the  truth.  '  There 
is  no  deception  ' — as  the  clumsy  conjuror  has  it. 

On  Monday — yesterday — we  had  a  long  walk  after 
partridges  with  five  guns  and  killed  20 1  brace ;  I  picked  up 
15  birds. 

On  our  first  day  of  75  brace,  I  picked  up  47  birds ;  23| 
brace. 

Reggie  and  Margaret  Talbot  were  at  Wynyard  and  she 
played  divinely. 

Between  whiles  I  wrote  two  manifestoes.  One  on  the 
Territorial  Army  and  another  '  Message  '  which  will  be 
published  in  the  new  form  of  the  *  Manchester  Courier.' 

I  have  consistently  prophesied  that  this  Government 
would  dissolve  early  next  year.  Other  people  are  now 
beginning  to  say  so.  I  hear  it,  indirectly  from  Carson, 
and  also  from  a  member  of  the  Government.  I  think  the 
election  will  be  in  March. 

To  amuse  you,  I  enclose  a  letter  from  Perf  and  another 
from  Belloc.  Please  return  at  leisure. 

I  cannot  put  my  hand  on  your  last  letter.  I  should  like 
to  shoot  the  pheasants  and,  even  more,  to  drive  the 
partridges  again.  But  you  must  not  bother  about  my 
dates.  I  could  only  shoot  on  Fridays  and  Saturdays. 

I  mean  to  attend  the  House  closely  and  have  speeches 
on  14th  October,  llth  November,  18th,  19th,  20th  Novem- 


310         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

ber,  National  Union  and  Tariff  Reform  at  Cardiff.  Dover 
the  next  week,  i.e.  25th  and  26th  November,  and  the  Mass 
Meeting  etc.  at  Liverpool  the  first  week  in  December. 

Perf 's  spelling  reminds  one  of  the  '  Paston  Letters.'  *  Mais. 
il  a  une  maniere  bien  nette  d'exprimer  son  idee.'  Belloc 
plays  the  fool,  but  plays  it  well.  All  love  to  darling 
Mamma. — Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

Love  from  Sibell. 

685 
To  his  Mother 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  October  1st,  1908. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  am  just  going  to  write  you  a 
line  about  curlews  and  wild  chicory. 

And,  first,  about  curlews.  Until  yesterday  I  had  never 
seen  a  curlew  in  these  parts.  But  they  have  always 
haunted  me  with  their  cry  of  watery  wildness.  I  first 
heard — and  then  saw — a  curlew  flying  over  Bassenthwaite 
Lake  when  fishing  with  you  for  perch.  And  you  told  me 
his  name.  When  I  wrote  my  *  Shakespeare '  I  put  in  a 
long  note  on  '  Lyrics '  opposing  Bagehot's  definition- 
Although  I  did  not  mention  a  curlew,  the  note  sprang  from 
that.  I  read  of  them — too  much — in  '  Locksley  Hall  * 
between  whiles.  I  was  familiar  with  them  on  the  West 
Coast  of  Ireland.  But,  till  yesterday,  I  had  never  seen 
one  here. 

Well,  yesterday,  as  I  rode  beyond  Sir  Hugh  de 
Calveley's  derelict  moat,  by  the  Alford  brook,  I  saw  a 
strange  bird.  Then  I  heard  his  cry,  and  knew  it  was 
a  curlew.  And,  in  the  twinkling  of  an  eye,  a  heron 
came  after  him,  making  short  barks.  The  heron  was 
saying  '  who  are  you  and  what  do  you  mean  by  being  a 
big  bird  with  a  long  beak,  though  not  so  big  as  I  am,  and 
with  a  thinner  beak,  curved  too,  and  altogether  outlandish  ? 
— so,  out  you  go  !  You  are  too  big,  anyway,  and  look 
as  if  you  might  try  to  catch  my  fish.'  So  the  curlew  flew 
away  towards  Saighton  and  the  heron — probably  the  cock 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  311 

— circled  back  in  dignity  to  the  Beechins.  He  was  pro- 
bably the  cock  because,  soon,  another  heron  came  back 
from  the  distance  into  which  the  curlew  had  flown,  to 
report  about  the  stranger.  This  heron  talked  more  than 
the  first.  The  second  heron  was  probably  the  hen.  She 
had  been  ordered  to  follow  up  the  stranger  and  came 
back  filling  the  welkin  with  information  and  scandal 
just  to  show  what  a  jealous  lady-heron  she  was  to  her 
Lord  and  how  jealous  of  the  little  heron's  right  to  all  the 
fish ;  on  the  hasty  theory  that  curlews  eat  fish — which 
they  don't. 

To-day — in  the  morning — I  took  a  walk  with  S.  S.  over 
the  fields  towards  Waverton  ;  on  the  side  of  Saighton,  and 
three  miles  away  from  the  Alford  brook.  There  we  saw 
the  strange  bird  again  and  stalked  him  and  put  him  up 
twice.  He  was  a  curlew.  And  this  time  the  rooks  were 
in  the  Devil's  own  stew  over  the  interloper.  They  could 
talk  of  nothing  else.  They  cawed  out '  what  are  we  coming 
to,  if  a  bird  as  big  as  ourselves,  but  of  a  different  colour, 
and  shape,  settles  here  as  if  the  place  belonged  to  him  ?  ' 

I  thought  *  it  must  be  my  curlew  of  yesterday,  hunted 
by  the  herons  to  face  the  rooks ! '  But  this  afternoon  I 
rode  again  into  the  marshy  flats  beyond  the  site  of  Sir 
Hugh's  timbered  mansion  and,  lo  !  and  behold  !  I  put  up 
seven  (7)  curlews.  My  friend  of  yesterday  had  called  up 
his  supports.  I  do  not  think  that  these  seven  can  have 
been  one  brood,  for  I  have  been  told  that  the  curlew  only 
lays  two  eggs.  If  that  is  true — but  is  it  ? — here  were  two 
families  minus  one  member.  Perhaps  the  missing  member 
was  my  friend  of  this  morning.  How  little  we  know  ! 
How  inglorious  is  our  ignorance. 

That  leads  me  to  wild  chicory — or  succory — with  its 
bright  green  leaves  and  bright  blue  flower.  Papa  tells 
me  that  he  was  to  drive  you  to  see  the  wild  chicory  beyond 
the  plantation  opposite  Pertwood. 

Well  now,  here  we  are  all  striving  to  have  blue  flowers. 
Nemophylla  and  amagallus — I  am  shaky  over  these 
names — are  not  in  it  with  chicory.  Why  not  have  a 
patch  of  chicory  in  the  garden  for  September  days  ?  Why 


312          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

not  ?  I  find  from  the  books  that  it  grows  wild  anywhere 
between  here  and  India,  but  chiefly  on  chalky  soil.  I 
am  told  by  my  gardener  that  the  only  way  to  get  it  is  to 
dig  it  up  in  its  native  sod.  I  should  hate  to  dig  up  many 
near  Pert  wood.  But  if  you  would  send  me  one  or  two  I 
would  lay  down  a  chalky  bed  to  receive  them. 

I  should  like  to  do  that.  But  I  am  not  bent  upon  it. 
Perhaps  it  is  better  to  know  that  they  are  glorious  near 
Pertwood,  and  at  many  other  spots,  all  the  way  across 
Europe,  Asia  Minor  and  on  to  India. 

I  have  asked  Cecil  Parker  to  issue  orders  that  the  curlews 
shall  not  be  shot.  So  it  is  rather  base  to  dig  up  even  one 
plant  of  chicory.  The  curlews  and  chicory  are  4  pleasant 
and  lovely  in  their  lives.'  I  feel  that,  all  the  more  clearly, 
as  the  man  who  lives  at  Newbold,  between  Saighton  and 
the  Beechins,  has  enclosed  a  square  mile  and  planted  it 
with  rare  shrubs.  The  result  swears  with  everything 
and  makes  the  fox-hunter  swear.  It  looks  like  a  new 
cemetery. 

4  Let  'un  live,'  x  say  I.  And  yet  I  should  like  a  patch 
of  bright  blue  chicory;  if  I  felt  sure  they  could  live  and 
say  '  so  am  not  I '  with  the  foolish  scullion.  Indeed, 
Sterne's  foolish  scullion  was  not  foolish,  but  as  wise  as  his 
starling.  Sterne's  scullion  and  starling  stand  for  life  and 
liberty  against  his  dead  donkey  and  dying  lieutenant. 
So  do  the  wild  chicory  and  watery  curlews  stand  against 
the  stunted  shrubs  of  Mr.  Colley's  plantations.  Perhaps 
we  had  best  leave  them  at  that. — Your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

P.S.—I  have  written  all  this  on  the  paper  you  gave  me. 
With  such  paper  there  is  no  impediment  to  writing  on  for 
ever.  I  put  '  reason '  first  and  then  scratched  it  out. 
There  is  always  this  much  of  reason  for  writing,  that  I 
love  you  and  all  you  taught  me  to  love — such  as  curlews 
and  chicory  and  all  that  is  wild  enough  and  bright  enough 
to  deserve  loving  and  be  spared  from  death,  or  decency, 
or  order. 

1  Barne's  Dorset  Poems,  '  The  Old  Oak  Tree.' 


TO  PHILIP  HANSON  313 

686 

To  Philip  Hanson 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
5.x.  08. 

MY  DEAR  P.  H., — It  seems  a  long  while  since  I  heard 
from,  or  wrote  to,  you.  It  is  long  and  seems  longer  pro- 
bably because  I  have  been  moving  about  and  enjoying 
life,  I  have  really  followed  at  last  advice  which  you  have 
often  tendered.  I  have  taken  a  complete  holiday  of  two 
months.  I  marvel  at  the  exhilaration  which  this  pro- 
duces. Sometimes  I  wonder  whether  I  shall  ever  work 
again.  I  am  filled  with  a  new  gusto  for  enjoyment.  One 
of  two  things  may  happen.  I  may  either  begin  to  work 
again  with  ease,  or  become  by  conviction  a  middle-aged 
pleasure-seeker.  I  have  not  done  a  stroke  of  real  work 
since  August  3,  when  I  spoke  at  a  mass  meeting  in  Eaton 
Park.  It  is  only  two  months  and  three  days  ago.  But 
I  feel  as  if  I  had  never  worked  and  almost  as  if  I  never 
would.  I  went  to  Clouds  and  played  lawn  tennis ;  I 
returned  to  Eaton  and  played  polo  ;  I  went  to  Salisbury 
Plain  and  played  at  soldiers,  to  such  purpose  that  a  Guard 
turned  out  and  mistook  me  for  a  General,  presented 
arms  and  blew  a  fanfare  on  a  trumpet ;  a  deserved  tribute 
to  grey  hair  and  a  red  (Yeomanry)  cap  with  a  white  cover. 
More  by  token,  I  went  to  Venice  with  Percy,  and  led  the 
life  of  a  Monte  Cristo.  We  two  had  Westminster's  yacht 
to  ourselves,  safely  anchor'd  off  the  Punte  della  Salute. 
We  chartered  a  Gondola  with  a  figure  (Pagan,  naked  and 
unashamed)  of  Fortune  on  our  prow.  We  saw  Palaces 
and  Churches.  We  discovered  Tintoretto — just  as  if  we 
were  Ruskin.  We  read  Villehardouin's  own  account  of 
his  transactions  with  Dandolo  in  1202.  We  bathed  in 
the  Adriatic  from  the  Lido.  We  gave  a  Dinner  Party 
on  board,  and  if  we  did  not  paint  the  town  red,  why  I  I 
can  only  say  that  is  unnecessary  in  '  Venise,  la  rouge.' 
But  after  that  I  went  to  Clouds  again  and  shot  partridges. 
I  went  to  Wynyard  and  met  Buckle  and  Moneypenny, 


314         LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

and  finally  I  have,  for  the  first  time  since  1900,  been  at 
Saighton  in  summer  weather. 

I  am  here  only  for  a  Railway  Board,  and  back  to- 
Saighton  immediately  after  it. 

I  have  definitely  refused  to  write  an  article  for  the 
centenary  of  the  '  Quarterly.' 

I  mean  without  preparation  to  hurl  my  exuberance  on 
an  effete  House  of  Commons.  And  then  hunt  and — if 
it  freezes — go  to  see  brother  Guy  at  Petersburg. 

I  have  just  read  the  proceedings  at  Cork.  They  com- 
plete the  illusion  of  being  five  years  younger,  without 
re-creating  the  delusion  that  anything  is  likely  to  happen 
— except  a  war  with  Germany. 

Mahaffy  has  been  with  us  at  Saighton,  and  a  quite 
delightful  companion.  I  wish  you  could  pop  over  for 
48  hours  before  next  Saturday. 

I  crystallised  my  Italian  in  Venice.  It  came  to  me 
suddenly  like  swimming  or  skating.  So  that  without 
effort  or  merit  on  my  part  I  can  now  read  that  language 
and  have  read  four  or  five  volumes  in  it.  But  I  can't 
read  German.  Perhaps  you  could  tell  me  the  purport 
of  the  enclosed  remarks  on  my  *  Walter  Scott.'  I  shall 
bear  up  if  the  sense  is  as  repellent  as  the  form  seems  to 
my  untutor'd  eye. 

Anyway  let  me  hear  from  you. — Yours  ever,       G.  W. 

P.S. — Reverting  to  the  German  review.  I  know  not 
the  speech,  but  I  am  glad  to  have  been  spared  the  first 
word  in  the  criticism  which  follows  the  par.  on  my  W.  S_ 
*  Quellenuntersuchungen.'  What  an  awful  thing  to  say 
about  anybody  ! 

687 
To  his  Father 

HOUSE  OF  COMMONS, 
October  I2th,  1908. 

MY  DEAR  PAPA, — I  was  much  amused  to  hear  that  the 
wild  chicory  came  from  Chester,  and  much  interested  by 
the  information  you  have  given  me  about  it.  It  is  some 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  315 

years  since  I  first  saw  the  blue  flowers  for  we  were  walking 
partridges.  I  took  some  home  then  and  found  out  that 
it  was  the  plant  used  for  salad.  But  as  I  had  never  seen 
the  flower  in  the  garden  I  did  not  believe  it.  You  explain 
the  mystery.  Thanks  too,  for  telling  me  about  the 
curlew's  four  eggs.  I  brought  the  curlews  into  a  speech 
at  the  Conversazione  at  the  '  Charles  Kingsley '  Natural 
History  Society  in  Chester  last  Thursday. 

On  Friday  I  went  to  Derwent  and  shot  grouse  Saturday 
with  Edmund  Talbot.  Owing  to  a  high  wind,  which 
blew  them  off  the  estate,  we  only  got  66  brace  with  five 
guns. 

A  man  staying  there  knew  a  great  deal  about  birds. 

I  ought  to  have  said  before  that  you  must  not  think  of 
changing  your  dates  for  shooting.  I  shall  hope  to  get  to 
Clouds  for  a  Sunday  or  two  soon.  All  love  to  darling 
Mamma. — Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

688 
To  his  Mother 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
29th  October  1908. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — Your  letter — besides  being 
dear — amuses  me,  because  all  my  congratulators  on  the 
Lord  Rectorship  are  more  pleased  at  Winston's  defeat 
than  at  my  victory. 

I  did  not  expect  to  win.  But,  as  I  have  won,  I  shall 
try  to  say  something  to  them  in  my  address.  Meanwhile 
new  links  with  real  youth  have  a  new  joy.  The  unreal 
youth  of  middle  age  is  light-hearted.  But  the  real  youth 
of  twenty  years  is  portentous  in  the  solemnity  of  its 
ignorance.  Never  having  been  out  of  its  depth  it  needs 
no  bladders  of  mirth  to  swim  with.  Little  ripples  from 
the  tide  of  fate  kiss  its  ankles.  And  it  walks  gravely 
through  them  like  a  conqueror  of  '  seas  of  trouble.' 

On  Monday  the  Leader  of  the — Edinburgh  under- 
graduate— opposition  and  his  right  hand  man  sent  in 
their  cards  to  me  at  the  House.  They  were  at  pains  to- 


316          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

explain  how  much  they  had  wished  and  how  hard  they 
had  tried  to  beat  me.  But — as  between  gentlemen — that 
being  over,  they  wished  to  express  their  respect  for  '  The 
Lord  Rector.'  So  I  made  them  dine  without  dressing, 
and  they  regaled  Sibell  and  myself  with  their  earnestness 
and  certainty,  over  what  seems  trifles  to  the  middle-aged. 
— Your  loving  and  devoted  son,  GEORGE. 


689 
To  his  Father 

35  PARK  LANE, 
Friday  Night,  October  30th,  1908. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  am  counting  on  coming  to 
Clouds  for  several  Sundays ;  and  should — as  you  half 
expected — have  come  to-morrow.  But  for  several  reasons : 
as,  for  example,  Percy  comes  here  to-morrow  from 
Aldershot ;  Sibell  has  a  feast  of  the  Church  on  Sunday ; 
and  I  am  immersed  in  arithmetical  calculations  over  the 
Irish  Land  Act.  But  I  mean  to  come  soon,  perhaps  next 
Friday  or  Saturday. 

I  will  try  to  see  Harold  White,  meanwhile. 

I  do  not  think  we  need  worry  over  the  state  of  affairs. 
Because  all  classes  are  worrying.  Margaret  Dalton  of 
Saighton  village  wrote  to  Sibell  much  on  the  lines  of  your 
letter.  The  whole  country,  and  specially  what  are  called 
the  lower  classes  are  shocked  at  all  that  is  taking  place. 

My  main  concern  is  that  I  fear  this  wretched  Govern- 
ment will  collapse  next  March  and  let  us  in,  before  we 
are  ready  to  face  national  bankruptcy  and  anarchy  in 
Ireland. 

I  am  not  a  cynic  and  find  no  pleasure  in  the  general 
sordid  insanity  which  seems  inherent  in  the  third  year  of 
a  so-called  Liberal  administration.  Yet  the  Government's 
position  is  diabolically  absurd. 

Four  hundred  of  their  supporters  are  pledged  to  Woman's 
Suffrage.  The  Prime  Minister  though  opposed  personally 
has  publicly  invited  them  to  ventilate  their  cause.  Their 


TO  HIS  FATHER  817 

watch- word  is,  *  No  taxation  without  representation/ 
Excellent.  But  what  do  we  see  ? 

The  House  of  Commons  is  often  surrounded  by  a  cordon 
of  police.  The  public  galleries  are  shut.  We  live  in  a 
state  of  siege. 

So,  too,  in  Ireland.  Yesterday  several  policemen  were 
shot  and  a  cattle-driver  was  shot  dead. 

All  this  goes  on.  But  the  House  of  Commons  is  only 
allowed  to  discuss  quite  ridiculous  provisions  in  the 
Licensing  Bill. 

This  afternoon,  for  example,  the  House  of  Commons 
made  it  a  crime  for  a  father  to  take  his  boy  into  a  railway 
station  Refreshment  Room  if  there  was  a  '  bar '  on  the 
premises. 

To  '  top  up  '  or,  as  the  French  say,  *  pour  surcroit  de 
bonheur.'  We  are  face  to  face  with  national  bankruptcy 
and  not  too  far  removed  from  a  war  with  Germany.  In 
face  of  that  situation  we  are  exporting  the  Reserve  to  our 
protectionist  Colonies  hi  order  that  they  may  not  starve 
in  Free  Trade  England. 

4  Is  that  all  ?  '  as  we  say  in  English.  '  Merci  du  peu  * 
as  they  say  in  French. 

I  await  the  explosion.  4  Impavidum  ferient  ruinae '  as 
they  say  in  Latin,  which  is  as  much  as  to  say  in  English 
*  I  shall  not  be  alarmed,'  nor,  let  me  add,  surprised. 

But,  alas  !  the  Party  will  hardly  be  ready. — Your 
loving  son,  GEORGE. 

690 

To  his  Father 

4.ri.08. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  have  told  them  to  look  for  the 
two  letters  in  the  '  Times  '  of  the  2nd. 

I  have  studied  '  Invisible  Exports  '  and  Capital  invested 
abroad  for  some  time. 

Nobody  attended  to  it  before  1903. 

In  the  Board  of  Trade  Blue-Book,  prepared  by  Gerald 
Balfour  in  that  year,  they  took  a  shot. 


318          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

To  account  for  excess  of  Imports  over  Exports,  they 
said  (a)  some  pay  the  freights  of  our  ships,  (b)  others  to 
the  tune  of  £90,000,000  are  interest  on  capital  invested 
abroad. 

Schooling  in  the  British  Trade  Year  Book  has  proved 
that  our  shipping  does  not  earn  the  amount  credited 
to  it. 

I  think  it  far  more  likely  that  more — much  more — than 
£90,000,000  is  interest  on  capital  invested  abroad  coming 
back  in  the  shape  of  articles.  And  I  am  sure  that  more 
must  come  back  in  future. 

It  is  difficult  to  identify  our  capital  invested  abroad. 
The  only  part  we  can  identify  is  that  on  which  income 
tax  is  paid  in  block  by  bankers.  These  are  called  '  iden- 
tified profits  from  abroad.' 

They  show  that  capital  is  pouring  out  of  this  country. 
It  goes  for  two  reasons  :  (1)  to  get  a  higher  interest, 
because  a  shilling  income  tax  and  death  duties  force 
people  to  try  for  5  per  cent,  preferring  the  risk  to  the 
certainty  of  being  ruined  in  three  generations ;  (2)  to 
take  refuge  behind  Tariff  walls. 

The  increase  is  astounding.  In  the  19  years  previous 
to  1904-1905,  capital — so  identified — went  abroad  at  the 
average  rate  of  £22,000,000  a  year.  But  in  the  next  two 
years — 05/06 — 06/07 — it  went  at  the  average  of  £135,000,000 
a  year — £270,000,000  in  the  two  years. 

Now  the  curious  point  is  this.  These  huge  sums  did 
not  go  in  sovereigns  or  bullion,  most  of  them  went  as 
our  exports.  Yet  imports  exceeded  exports  in  1906  : 

Value. 

Imports £607,888,500 

Exports £375,575,338 

Total  .     £983,463,838 


£645,807,942 
£426,035,083 


Total         .  £1,071,843,025 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  319 

One  result  is  certain,  viz. :  the  operation  of  Tariff  walls. 

They  tend  to  make  the  Imports  of  £645  millions  consist 
of  wholly  manufactured  articles  ;  and  they  tend  to  make 
the  £426  millions  of  our  Exports  consist  of  raw  material, 
e.g.  coal,  and  partly  manufactured  articles. 

Consequently  they  tend  to  displace  our  skilled  artisans 
and  to  entice  yet  more  capital  abroad. 

The  ultimate  result  is  to  turn  us  into  a  nation  of  bankers 
and  commission  agents,  supporting  armies  of  unemployed 
loafers. 

That  is  what  happened  in  ancient  Rome,  in  Constanti- 
nople, and  in  Venice,  with  the  results  that  history  teaches. 
— Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

P.S. — Few  people  know  that  Constantinople  in  the 
XlVth  century  had  a  revenue  as  large  as  ours — £150 
millions  a  year.  Yet  it  collapsed  like  a  card-castle  before 
the  Turks  in  1457 — and  had  been  taken  already  by  the 
Franks  in  1204. 

All  this  makes  me  sad. 


691 

To  his  Mother 

35  PARK  LANE, 

Saturday  Night,  November  7th,  1908. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  wish  I  were  at  Clouds.  And 
this  is  to  say,  definitely,  that  I  shall  come  to  Clouds  by 
the  morning  tram  next  Saturday.  For  many  reasons  next 
Sunday  is  easier  than  this  Sunday.  We  shall  have  finished 
the  Committee  stage  of  the  Licensing  Bill — on  which  I 
speak  every  day.  On  one  day  I  spoke  six  times  !  And 
— with  average  luck — I  shall  have  broken  the  back  of 
preparation  for  platform  speeches.  When  that  has  been 
done  a  holiday,  before  making  them,  is  a  holiday  and 
helps  me  to  make  them  better.  But  a  holiday  when  I  am 
up  to  my  neck  in  work  is  not  a  holiday. 

Besides  my  work  on  the  Licensing  Bill,  I  have  circu- 
lated to  ex-colleagues  a  memo,  of  21  pages  foolscap  typed 


320          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

on  the  finance  of  the  Land  Act,  and  answered  every  letter 
that  anyone  has  addressed  to  me. 

The  decks  are  cleared  for  action. 

I  have  to  speak  at  the  Mayor's  Banquet,  Dover,  on  the 
llth.  But  my  work  to-morrow,  Tuesday,  Thursday  and 
Friday,  is  to  get  ready  for  my  real  platform  campaign. 
On  the  18th  the  Tariff  Reform  branch  of  all  South  Wales 
gives  me  a  luncheon.  On  the  19th  I  hope  to  speak  at  the 
National  Union  Conference.  On  the  20th  I  have  a  mass 
meeting. — That  is  three  in  one  week.  The  next  week  I 
speak  on  the  23rd  in  the  House  on  Irish  Land  ;  and  then 
in  the  country — platform — on  25th  and  26th ;  the  next 
week  on  December  1st ;  the  next,  on  December  9th  and 
10th  ;  all  4  Platform.' 

I  stayed  here  to-night  to  reconnoitre  the  field  of  opera- 
tions. I  just  mean  to  block  it  out  before  I  begin.  And — 
as  I  said — I  have  cleared  off  everything  else.  My  life  is 
swept  and  garnished  for  the  house-warming  of  the  seven 
Devils  of  the  Platform. — Your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

692 

To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

SALISBURY,  15th  November  1908. 

DARLING  PAM, — This  is  a  diminutive  herald  to  our 
lunch  on  Tuesday,  blowing  his  little  trumpet  to  announce 
whence  I  come,  since  my  stay  must  be  short.  I  can  only 
nick  in  on  Tuesday.  For  on  Wednesday  I  have  to  make 
a  speech  and  another  on  Thursday,  and  another  on  Friday, 
and  another  on  Monday,  and  so  on  for  ever.  By  luck,  and 
inspiration  derived  from  Clouds,  I  know  just  what  I  mean 
to  say  on  Wednesday  about  Tariff  Reform.  And,  by  dint 
of  hard  plugging  at  Act,  and  statistics,  I  also  know  just 
what  I  mean  to  say  to-morrow  week  on  Irish  Land  Pur- 
chase. Having  arrived  at  these  by  luncheon  time,  I 
walked  five  miles  with  Dorothy  and  read,  after  tea,  rather 
sleepily,  Filson  Young's  last  novel.  But  suddenly  one 
scene  woke  me.  The  hero,  who  can  draw,  hears  O'Donnell 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  321 

read  a  poem  to  a  gathering  of  artistic  prigs.  So  he  says — 
all  of  a  sudden — *  I  can  draw  that '  and  does  it.  Here 
are  the  Arts  colloguing.  I  said  to  myself  '  I  can  write 
that.'  And  went  and  wrote  it.  I  make  Art  talk ;  and 
this  is  what  SHE  says  : — 


ARS  LOQUITUR 


I  am  the  way — the  ancient  trick 

Of  making ;  as  things  must  be  made, 

By  measure,  and  arithmetic, 
And  the  old  custom  of  a  trade. 


I  am  the  truth — the  empty  gaze 

At  far  horizons  veiled  in  mist  : 
I  falter  as  I  search  the  maze 

Of  Dawn's  abysmal  amethyst. 

in 

I  am  the  life — the  miracle, 

Of  plan  and  vision,  merged  in  one  ; 

Whose  high  harmonics  soar  and  dwell 
In  ecstasies  of  unison. 

IV 

I  am  the  way,  the  truth,  the  life ; 

The  road  to  go,  the  rim  to  see, 
The  song  to  shout,  above  the  strife 

Of  rapture  with  utility. 

Art  says — with  Moliere — *  Je  prends  mon  bien  ou  je  le 
trouve.'  And  in  this  case — as  in  so  many — finds  her 
quarry  in  the  Founder  of  Christianity.  Les  beaux  esprits 
se  rencontrent.  Before  Art  disinterred  that  Jewel,  I  had 
gaped  at  the  opalescent  profundity  of  the  saying  '  I  am 
the  way,  the  truth  and  the  life.'  It  is — when  stated — so 
evident  that  life  means  method  and  vision.  And  that, 
my  Darling,  is  why  I  make  Art  say  so. — Your  devoted 
brother,  GEORGE. 

VOL.  II.  X 


322          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

693 

To  Wilfrid  Ward 
Private 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
November  27th,  1908. 

MY  DEAR  WILFRID, — I  was  on  the  point  of  writing  to 
you — now  at  11  p.m. — when  I  found  your  letter.  I  had 
read  the  A.J.B.  Essay  and  noted  the  dexterity  with  which 
you  have  interpolated  my  suggested  *  double  barrel ' — 
The  Imperial  Conference  plus  Asquith's  Budget,  in  1907. 
And  I  had  glanced  at  all  the  others.  The  book,  for  which 
I  am  very  grateful,  came  to  my  hands  about  six  this 
evening.  It  reached  me  at  one  of  those — rare — moments 
of  forlorn  fatigue  that  occur  in  the  course  of  strenuous 
stretches.  And  at  those  rare  moments  the  touch  of 
friendship  is  '  grateful  and  comforting.' 

We  are  troubled  to-day.  A  wire  from  Madeira,  four 
days  ago  told  us  that  Westminster,  whom  we  expected 
from  South  Africa  to-morrow  was  ill  with  malaria,  and, 
this  morning,  a  wireless  message  turned  uneasiness  to 
anxiety.  So,  Sibell  and  the  Duchess  have  gone  off  to 
Southampton  with  a  doctor,  and  I  was  left  alone.  Other- 
wise I  have  not  had — and  cannot  foresee — any  gap  in  the 
strain  of  political  effort.  I  spoke  at  Cardiff  on  Wednesday 
and  Thursday.  On  Monday  I  spoke  to  the  House  for 
an  hour  on  Irish  Land  Purchase,  and  at  Dover  on 
Wednesday,  and  to-day  I  had  to  speak  in  the  House, 
in  spite  of  this  anxiety. 

Even  if  all  goes  well,  I  cannot  alas  !  think  of  Lotus  1 
before  Xmas.  I  must  speak  on  Education  in  the  House 
— and  watch  it — all  next  week  except  Tuesday  when  I 
speak  at  Gravesend,  and,  apart  from  the  House,  I  have 
big  Meetings  the  week  after  on  the  7th  and  10th. 

All  this  is  accompanied  by  exacting  work  on  Irish 
Purchase  and  Education,  behind  the  scenes.  So — as  you 
say — Literature  cannot  be  my  career.  Forgive  this 
explosion  ! 

1  The  name  of  Mr.  Ward's  house  at  Dorking. 


TO  WILFRID  WARD  323 

I  am  deeply  concerned  over  the  so-called  Education 
Compromise.  It  makes  me  sad  to  feel  how  remote  I  am 
from  my  countrymen  and  how  remote  they  are — with 
all  their  excellent  qualities — from  the  rudiments  of 
philosophic  thought.  It  is  dear  of  them  to  jump  at  a 
compromise ;  but  silly  to  jump  before  looking.  They 
will  look  afterwards.  They  will  look  back  and  say,  '  If 
we  had  only  known.'  Yet  they  do  not  realise  that  they 
preclude  themselves  from  knowing  now — or  ever — owing 
to  their  inveterate  distrust  of  thinking.  Any  man  who 
thinks  on  these  occasions,  and  shows  that  he  is  thinking, 
is  suspect.  I  am  suspect.  But  I  -must  think ;  and  I 
will  believe  that  it  is  wise  to  do  so.  Yet,  I  am  nearly 
powerless.  I  thought  and  spoke  on  Wednesday.  The 
*  Times  '  suppressed  my  speech,  the  *'  Morning  Post ' 
published  a  sketch  of  the  rest  and  suppressed  all  I  said 
upon  Education. 

You  have  leisure,  and  a  rostrum  in  the  *  Dublin  Review.' 
It  is  your  duty  to  try  and  make  them  think. 

Will  you  help  me  to  make  them  see  before  the  smash 
that  there  are  only  two  ways  of  approaching  the  problem  ? 
(1)  To  start  from  Uniformity  of  religious  instruction ; 
and  (2)  to  start  from  Unity  of  the  National  System  of 
Education.  Or,  putting  it  another  way  (1)  to  start  from 
a  neutral  religion,  and  (2)  to  start  from  the  neutrality  of 
the  State  to  all  religions. 

From  whichever  point  you  make  your  departure,  you 
must — I  admit  and  assert — make  illogical  exceptions  to 
fit  in  with  present  practical  needs. 

But — and  here  is  the  whole  matter — if  you  start  from 
a  fair  theory,  cela  ne  peche  pas  par  la  base.  No  wrecker 
can  find  a  cranny  in  your  foundation,  insert  his  crowbar, 
and  overthrow  the  whole  edifice. 

If,  on  the  other  hand,  you  start  from  an  unfair  theory— 
as  this  Bill  does — no  amount  of  charity  and  ingenuity  is 
of  any  avail. 

There  it  is,  in  the  black  and  white  of  Clause  I.,  that  the 
State's  imprimatur  is  to  be  affixed  only  on  undenomi- 
national teaching.  If  once  you  say  that,  'contracting 


324 

out '  is  a  necessary  consequence.  You  may  mitigate  its 
secular  evils  by  lavish  grants.  But  you  cannot  irradicate 
the  stigma. 

It  makes  me  sad  and  sick.  Think  of  the  irony  of  the 
situation.  On  Tuesday  the  House  of  Commons  by  five 
to  one  supported  a  motion  in  favour  of  relieving  Roman 
Catholics  from  important,  but  largely  sentimental,  griev- 
ances. The  accession  oath,  the  prohibition  on  the 
appointment  of  an  R.C.  Lord  Lieutenant  of  Ireland  or 
Lord  Chancellor  are  grievances.  They  are  antiquated 
insults  and  irrational  disabilities.  We  said  so  on  Tuesday 
by  five  votes  to  one.  Yet — because  Englishmen  will  not,, 
or  cannot  think,  on  Thursday,  in  the  same  week,  within 
forty-eight  hours,  we  say  by  nearly  two  and  half  votes  to- 
one,  that  new  disabilities — not  sentimental  and  antiquated 
—but  modern  and  practical — are  to  be  imposed  in  respect 
of  Education  for  all  the  Catholic  youth  in  the  country. 

Nothing  can  wholly  amend  that  original  defect. 

But  the  Bill  has  been  *  Guillotined.'  Clause  I.  goes 
through  automatically  on  Monday. 

I  deplore,  but  accept  perforce,  that  situation. 

What  really  kills  me  is  that  your  people  and  our  people 
—who  want  to  be  kind — can't  think  enough  to  gauge  the 
consequences  of  that  initial  mistake. 

They  say,  '  If  the  Government  makes  the  grant  big 
enough  what  does  it  matter  ?  ' 

They  say  that  because  they  will  not,  or  cannot,  think- 
Help  me  to  make  them  think. 

On  their  own  absurd  basis,  their  Bill  is  valueless  unless 
it  is  a  settlement.  Very  well. 

The  cost  of  education  has  increased,  is  increasing,  and 
will  increase. 

Consequently  any  fixed  grant  which  is  fair  to-day,  will 
be  unfair  next  year,  grossly  unfair  in  five  years,  and 
utterly  useless  in  ten  years.  Therefore,  instead  of 
haggling  for  sixpences,  they  must  insist  on  paying  only  a 
quota  for  the  rights  of  citizenship.  They  must  say, 
4  We  think  it  unfair  to  pay  rates  for  your  religion.  We 
think  it  sad  to  be  excluded  from  all  your  national  system 
of  Education,  and  bad  for  that  system.  But  you  will 


TO  WILFRID  WARD  325 

have  it  so.  How  much  are  we  to  pay  ?  Isn't  a  shilling 
in  the  pound  enough  ?  We  have  three  hundred  thousand 
Catholic  children.  A  child's  education  costs  about  £3 
a  head.  Is  not  nine  hundred  thousand  shillings — £45,000 
a  year — a  sufficient  tax  on  our  religious  convictions  ?  ' 

Supposing  that  the  House  sees  the  force  of  that,  i.e. 
that  for  a  permanent  settlement  the  private  contribu- 
tion must  be  a  quota  and  not  a  fixed  grant — then,  point 
out : — 

II.  Population  increases.  When  new  schools  are 
wanted,  you  must  give  us  building  grants  for  the  same 
proportion  of  19:1.  If  we  need  £20,000  for  new  schools, 
you  must  pay  £19,000,  and  we  will  find  £1000. 

I  don't  know  why  I  trouble  you  with  all  this. 

At  this  moment  I  feel  as  if  I  lived  in  a  community  of 
deaf  men.  The  more  I  talk  the  more  worried  they  look. 
,  .  .  And  nothing  happens. 

Let  us  quit  all  this  hopeless,  helpless,  dumb  show  of 
hypnotised  Democracy  going  to  its  appointed  doom  of 
Bureaucracy  and  Caesarism — now,  as  ever  and  everywhere, 
quod  semper  et  ubique. 

Let  us  laugh  ! 

We  ought  to  laugh.  Surprise  is  the  basis  of  laughter. 
And  what  can  be  more  surprising  than  to  see  the  leaders 
of  Nonconformity  in  the  House  of  Commons,  bribed  by 
baronetcies,  abrogating  the  constitution,  and  laughing— 
as  well  they  may — at  the  spectacle  of  the  Anglican  Arch- 
bishop ramming  Nonconformity  down  my  throat  with  the 
butt  end  of  his  crozier  ?  They  laugh.  Had  not  I  better 
laugh  too  ?  '  Taking  it  hi  good  part '  is — I  believe — the 
classic  phrase  for  acquiescing  in  comic  turpitude. 

But  I  have  not  quitted  this  grim  subject  of  sordid  and 
sardonic  infamy.  I  must — or  I  shall  forget  to  laugh  and 
increase  the  merriment  of  other's  by  getting  angry. 

That  would  be  absurd,  when  neither  Anglican  nor 
Catholic,  nor  Educationalist,  nor  Unionists,  are  willing 
to  think  of  anything  but  their  Christmas  holidays. 

So  now,  having  relieved  my  feelings>  I  will  write  out 
some  lines  which  I  did  write  out  for  you  the  other  day — 
and  then  tore  up. 


326          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

They  may  be  condemned  on  the  three  grounds  of  (1) 
profanity,  (2)  plagiarism  (3)  mystical  obscurity. 

And  yet,  for  all  that,  I  am  glad  to  have  written  them. 
They  sprang  from  a  book  about  Art.  I  thought.  And 
it  came  to  me  that  Art  should  speak  for  herself.  If  her 
language  is  obscure  it  is  not — she  protests — more  obscure 
than  the  language  of  those  who  speak  for  her.  This  is 
what  she  said  to  me.  The  Lady  speaks  : — 

ARS  LOQUITUR 

'  I  am  the  way — the  ancient  trick/  etc.,  etc. 

[See  preceding  letter.] 

— Yours  ever,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 


694 

To  his  Mother 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

December  2nd,  1908. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — One  scribble  before  I  go  back 
to  the  House  to  say  how  sorry  I  am  to  hear  that  Amelia 
Ireland  is  dead,  and  how  well  I  understand  what  that 
means  to  you,  Darling.  But,  then,  I  am  glad  that  I  can 
know  this  ;  because  you  and  I  went  to  Doncebate  together, 
when  she  was  still  just  what  I  knew  she  had  been  from 
your  old  stories  ;  I  might  so  easily  not  have  gone,  or  been 
prevented  by  work. 

The  real  objection  to  work  is  that  it  prevents  one  from 
doing  things  that  leave  memories  far  more  lasting  than 
the  results  of  any  work.  I  feel  that  about  work,  and  par- 
ticularly about  political  work.  It  has  no  '  smack  of 
immortality '  in  it.  But  kindness  and  courage  and  fun 
and  joy  are  immortal. 

Now  I  must  just  '  pop  hi '  to  see  Shelagh  on  my  way 
back.  S.  S.  has  gone  over  to  see  Benny.  It  is  a  separate 
and  known  tropical  fever,  caused  by  a  separate  and  known 
microbe  with  some  horrible  name.  This  intruder  can 
only  be  killed  by  the  health  of  the  patient.  Nothing  but 


TO  MRS.  HINKSON  327 

rest  and  the  right  diet  are  any  good.  You  have  to  beat 
him  with  your  own  phagocytes.  And  Benny  will  beat 
him  all  right  in  two  or  three  weeks. 

I  made  a  good  speech  at  Gravesend  last  night.  I 
started  from  Gravesend  to  Suakim  in  1885  !  just  opposite 
old  Tilbury  fort.  What  a  rush  it  has  been  since  then. 
And  it  is  a  rush  now  !  I  'm  off. — Your  devoted  and  most 
loving  son,  GEORGE. 

695 

To  Mrs,  Hinkson 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
December  2nd,  1908. 

DEAR  MRS.  TYNAN-HINKSON, — I  am  not  going  to 
apologise  for  the  delay  of  this  reply.  Because  I  know  you 
will  have  guessed  that  I  waited  till  I  had  the  chance  of 
reading  '  The  House  of  the  Crickets  '  before  thanking 
you  for  your  gift.  I  took  the  chance  in  the  midst  of 
Tariff  Reform,  and  my  old  Irish  Land  Act,  and  Educa- 
tion. And  your  book  was  like  the  plashing  of  a  pure 
stream  through  a  frowning  gorge.  It  was  true.  For  it 
does  not  veil  the  bleak  desolation  or  pollute  the  stream. 
It  is  like  Life — which  is  made  of  austerity  and  kindness. 
It  is  not  like  Death — which  is  '  made  up  '  of  sentiment 
and  corruption. 

I  am  sick  of  the  farded  skeleton  which  most  novelists 
call  life. 

Though  it  is  fearful  to  believe — as  you  make  me — in 
such  a  childhood  as  the  brothers  and  sisters  had  ;  still, 
the  misery  and  awe  of  it  made  them  human.  Though 
one  poor  boy  died  and  one  sister  was  wild  and  inconsiderate ; 
they  all  found  each  other. 

But,  in  the  scent  and  glare  and  blare  of  other  authors' — 
*  clever ' — novels  all  the  avenues  of  perception  were 
deafened  and  dazed  and  suffocated. 

I  thank  you  sincerely  for  having  written  the  book,  and 
warmly  for  having  given  it  to  me. — Yours  very  truly, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 


328          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

696 

To  Charles  T.  Gatty 

36  PARK  LANK,  W., 
5.xii.08. 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — I  saw  Bendor  to-day  for  the 
second  time.  He  is  going  on  well  and  his  old  self,  but 
weak.  He  may  see  people.  And  he  begged  me  to-day 
— most  particularly — to  ask  you  to  come  and  see  him. 
He  wants  cheering  up.  I  wasted  the  '  Peacock '  and 
*  Capers  '  on  him.  You  must  do  them  in  your  *  inimitable 
manner  ' !  He  is  longing  to  see  you. 

I  am  looking  forward  more  than  I  can  say  to  our 
Christmas  together.  I  am  tired ;  and  have  three  more 
fences  to  jump — Land  Bill  Tuesday,  Mass  Meeting  Wednes- 
day, and  another — a  luncheon — Thursday.  Then  I  go 
to  Mark  l  to  shoot  pheasants  Friday  and  come  back  to 
wind  up  on  Monday  14th.  Then  the  sooner  we  forget 
all  about  politics  and  l  addict  ourselves  wholly '  to 
Christmas,  the  better  ! — Yours  affectionately, 

GEORGE  W. 

697 

To  Charles  Boyd 
Confidential. 

36  PARK  LANE,  W., 
15.xii.08. 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — I  shall  begin  this  letter  now, 
to-night ;  it  is  12.20  and  really  the  16th  of  December.  I 
shall  finish  it  later,  after  attempting  to  see  Seely  again 
before  we  all  dispart  for  Christmas.  I  shall  write  in 
pencil  because  I  cannot  find  a  pen.  I  have  just  returned 
from  seeing  'King  Henry  V  with  Lady  Grosvenor.  It 
is  wonderful.  I  should  like  to  read  it  aloud  to  large 
audiences  instead  of  speaking  about  Defence  and  the 
Union  of  the  Empire. 

So  far  as  one  member  of  the  Board  is  concerned — to 

1  Mark  Napier. 


TO  CHARLES  BOYD  329 

wit,  C.  B. — I  shall  try  the  Newfoundland  fly.  So  far  as 
the  other  — G.  W. — is  concerned,  he  is  touched  by  your 
suggestion.  But — really  it  is  not  possible.  The  Slab 
within  the  chaplet  of  weathered  boulders  calls.  But, 
but,  but  ...  I  cannot  do  all  that  I  have  to  do  as  it  is. 
I  believe — (no  one  else  does) — that  there  will  be  a  general 
election  next  year.  I  am  very  well,  but  working  all  day 
and  every  day.  I  have  had  to  refuse  all  sorts  of  attrac- 
tive jobs — an  article  in  the  '  Centenary  Quarterly,'  etc., 
etc.  I  am  just  going  to  take  another  holiday  till  January 
21,  when  I  speak  at  Edinburgh.  And  I  have  just  finished 
the  biggest  course  I  ever  ran  over.  I  won't  worry  you 
with  details.  It  has  all  been  '  speeches.'  But  real  ones. 
The  climax  came  last  week.  On  Tuesday  I  moved  the 
rejection  of  Birrell's  Land  Bill  in  the  House — 1  hour  and 
5  minutes.  On  Wednesday  I  spoke  at  Liverpool  to  many 
more  than  5,000  persons  for  1  hour  and  10  minutes  on 
Tariff  Reform,  and  on  Thursday  I  spoke  for  30  minutes 
to  the  Conservative  Club  there.  Through  no  merit  of 
mine,  but  from  some  touch  of  actuality,  I  swept  the  board 
three  times  running.  Then  I  went  to  York  and  shot  on 
the  wolds  for  two  days  and  came  back  braced  by  a  North 
wind  and  being  800  feet  above  the  sea.  So  that  I  am 
fitter  and  fresher  than  when  the  race  began  in  October. 
I  don't  want  a  holiday.  But  I  mean  to  take  one ;  for, 
from  January  21  onwards,  I  take  off  the  gloves.  Enough 
of  this.  Now  I  go  to  bed.  To-morrow  I  shall  try  to  see 
Seely. 

Give  my  love  to  the  Doctor — even  if  it  makes  him  jump. 

I  am  thinking  deeply  over  your  last  letter.  If  you 
ever  see  my  recent  speeches  at  Cardiff  and  Liverpool,  you 
will  understand  how  '  pat '  that  letter  came  to  my  purpose. 
4  Finance '  won't  do.  I  see  my  path  quite  clearly.  I 
shall  follow  it.  I  mean  to  fight  a  straight  fight  for  Defend- 
ing the  Empire,  Uniting  the  Empire  and  (a)  *  Safeguard- 
ing ' — protecting  if  you  like — the  skilled  artisans  in  the 
Mother  Country ;  (b)  doing  something  to  enlist  the  mob 
of  loafers  into  the  ranks  of  regular  labour. 

I  have  said  this  three  times.     It  is,  therefore — (see  the 


330          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

'  Hunting  of  the  Snark ') — true.  But  it  entails  this.  The 
Press — bar  the  '  Standard  ' — is  '  agin  '  me.  Because  the 
press  of  England  belongs  to  Cosmopolitan  Finance,  they 
suppress  my  speeches.  But  thousands  come  to  listen ; 
and  these  three  speeches  have  been  printed  verbatim  and 
are  circulated  to  tens  of  thousands  as  leaflets — not  by 
me,  but  by  Liverpool  and  the  Tariff  Reform  League. 

As  that  is  the  kind  of  '  hairpins  we  are,'  you  will  guess 
my  view  on  Rhodesia  being  made  a  counter  in  the  Cosmo- 
politan Financial  game.  '  It  won't  do.'  It  must  be 
stopped.  The  Bond  shall  stop  it.  I  look  to  Rhodesia 
now,  as  I  did  in  1897,  to  unite  South  Africa  on  an  Imperial 
basis.  I  want  South  Africa  to  take  up  the  running. 
Imperial  Preference  depends,  now,  on  South  Africa. 
Canada  is  being  caught  in  the  cogs  of  U.S.A.  and  French 
and  German  Tariffs.  The  policy  of  the  Matoppos  has 
got  to  win.  C.  J.  R.  and  all  the  men  who  died  in  South 
Africa,  shall  not  have  lived  and  died  in  vain.  But  for 
that  Rhodesia,  which  is  the  key  to  South  African  Unity, 
just  as  South  Africa  is  the  key  to  Imperial  Unity,  must 
be  purged — at  all  costs — from  any  dross  and  base  metal 
of  oriental  Finance. 

I  wish  you  could  have  heard  and  seen  the  thousands 
in  the  Sun  Hall  at  Liverpool  rise  at  me  when  I  said  that 
we  would  not  lose  all  that  for  which  our  soldiers  and 
sailors  had  died  during  three  centuries.  If  you  are  on 
that  tack — and  you  are — no  man  will  understand  you 
more  readily,  and  gladly,  than  Jack  Seely.  .  .  . — Good- 
night. 

698 
To  his  Father 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
December  15th,  1908. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  was  very  glad  to  get  your  letter. 
'  The  Times  '  has  been  very  *  queer  '  lately.  I  am  told 
that  it  will  turn  over  a  new  leaf  on  January  1st.  I  think 
they  feel  that  they  owe  me  some  reparation,  as  yester- 
day, in  the  House,  their  new  Lobby  representative  asked 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  331 

to  be  introduced  to  me,  and  ceremoniously  booked  the 
dates  of  my  next  speeches  on  January  21st  at  Edinburgh 
and  February  1st  at  Birkenhead. 

My  Tariff  Reform  Speech — on  Wednesday — has  made 
a  considerable  stir.  Several  of  the  active  Tariff  Reformers 
in  the  House  came  to  me  yesterday,  and  thanked  me  for 
it.  I  am  to  see  Professor  Hewins  to-morrow  at  the  Head 
Office  of  the  League  and  on  another  day  to  meet  Garvin 
at  luncheon. 

I  mean  to  fight  this  thing  through  in  my  own  way, 
without  attempting  to  please  the  4  Mugwumps.'  The 
audience  in  the  Sun  Hall  was  magnificent.  I  should  say 
about  4700  on  my  side,  and  500  or  700  either  hostile,  or 
unconvinced.  But  they  all  listened.  I  enclose  two  small 
cuttings,  one  from  P.  M.  G.  the  other,  sent  to  me,  gives 
a  description  of  the  way  in  which  I  spoke.  The  '  Daily 
Post '  is  the  big  Liberal  Paper  hi  Liverpool.  I  also  enclose 
a  letter  from  Sir  Joseph  Lawrence,  which  I  should  like 
to  have  back. 

I  spoke  again,  the  third  time,  to  a  luncheon  on  Thursday 
in  the  Liverpool  Conservative  Club ;  and  succeeded — really 
spoke  better  than  the  night  before,  but  in  a  lighter  vein. 

They  are  printing  20,000  copies  of  my  Mass  Meeting 
speech  in  Liverpool,  and  the  Tariff  Reform  League  is 
also  going  to  make  it  a  leaflet. 

I  did  not  go  to  Saighton  but  to  York  and  motored  out 
to  Mark  Sykes,  for  two  days'  wild  shooting  in  the  wolds, 
800  feet  above  the  sea.  It  refreshed  and  braced  me.  I 
shot  up  to  my  best  form  at  high  wild  pheasants.  The 
second  day  we  got  8  Woodcock. 

All  love  to  Mamma. — Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

699 

To  his  Mother 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

December  I6th,  1908. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  must  send  a  line  to  say 
that  Sibell  and  I  went  to  '  Henry  V '  last  night  and 


332          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

it  was  splendid.  If  it  is  running  in  February  we  ought 
to  go  together. 

I  think  I  must  get  to  Saighton  Saturday  and  come  to 
you  in  January,  for  Percy's  coming  of  age  celebrations. 

I  am  not  a  penny  the  worse  for  my  hard  week  of  speak- 
ing. But  now  I  am  going  to  take  tour  weeks  of  complete 
holiday.  Then  I  shall  prepare  again  for  Edinburgh  on 
21st  January,  and  Birkenhead — 4000  Mass  Meeting  on 
February  1st. 

I  imagine  the  House  will  meet  on  February  9th. 

I  am  just  off  to  see  Hewins  at  the  Tariff  Reform  League. 
— Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

700 

To  his  Father 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

December  VJth,  1908. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — Enclosed  from  Lawrence  will 
interest  you.  The  meaning  of  (A)  is  that  the  editor  of 
the  'Morning  Post'  replied  that,  he  agreed;  that,  however, 
they  never  criticized  the  management  of  other  papers ; 
and,  so,  could  not  publish  Lawrence's  letter  in  which  he 
attacked  the  '  Times  '  for  suppressing  my  speeches. 

My  plan  is  to  go  on  making  speeches  until  they  have  to 
report  them. — Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 


701 

To  his  Father 


35  PARK  LANK. 
December  I7th,  1908. 


MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — There  is  one  slip  in  my  Liverpool 
speech.  It  is  4  hundredweights,'  not  tons,  of  '  tin-plates.' 
I  think  it  must  be  the  reporters'  mistake  as  I  have 
hundredweights  underlined  on  my  notes.  It  does  not 
affect  the  argument.  I  have  corrected  it  and  sent  the 
exact  figures  to  two  correspondents  who  wrote  on  the 
point.  The  speech  has  made  a  great  stir.  Indeed,  too 


TO  HIS  FATHER  333 

much  in  one  way ;  for  I  have  many  letters  to  answer, 
all  favourable  and  eager  for  more. 

Yet,  I  really  made  that  speech — not  so  well,  but  still 
quite  as  definitely — in  April  1907  near  Birmingham.  But 
it  was  not  reported. 

I  have  no  evidence  that '  critics  on  our  side  '  are  annoyed. 
The  opposition  papers  say  they  are.  But  the  opposition 
papers  and  Gould  have  lived  for  five  years  on  exaggerating 
our  differences,  especially  over  a  tax  on  wheat. 

I  shall  make  a  point  of  pushing  (1)  the  Corn  Tax  (2) 
Home  Industries,  all  over  again,  in  January  and  on  the 
1st  of  February  at  Birkenhead.  Meanwhile  I  shall  take 
no  notice  of  criticism. 

National  Review  Article.  I  have  not  read  it  yet.  I 
read  a  quotation  about  it  in  a  '  press  cutting  '  just  before  I 
made  those  three  speeches — Irish  Land  and  the  two  at 
Liverpool.  And,  as  I  travelled  to  York  after  the  third 
speech  I  read  a  Leading  Article  on  it  in  the  '  Yorkshire 
Post.'  I  did  not  take  it  to  heart. 

Oddly  enough,  it  has  rallied  a  great  many  people  to 
my  side.  There  is  a  lot  of  loose  ill-nature  in  the  world. 
But  there  is,  also,  a  lot  of  loose  good-nature.  And  when 
the  first  is  focussed,  the  second  gets  focussed,  too,  in 
antagonism  to  the  first. 

Many  members  of  the  House  of  Commons,  without 
referring  to  the  article,  have  gone  out  of  their  way  to  stop 
me  in  the  lobbies,  and  praise  my  Irish  speech  and  my 
Liverpool  speech.  That  is  their  way  of  showing  that  they 
think  the  article  is  outside  the  rules  of  the  game. 

Nobody  knows  who  wrote  it.  '  They  say '  (1)  Leo 
Maxie  would  not  have  published  it  as  by  '  M.P.'  unless  it 
was  written  by  an  *  M.P.'  (2)  There  is  no  M.P.  on  our 
benches  bright  enough  to  have  written  it.  (3)  So  it  must 
have  been  written  by  a  peer,  who,  of  course,  is  also  a 
member  of  Parliament. 

Sibell — who  thought  I  should  mind  it,  when  she  found 
I  did  not — started  to-night,  the  surprising,  but  ingenious, 
view  that  it  was  written  by  Lucy — Toby  under  the  clock. 
He  calls  himself — in  'Punch' — M.P.  for  Barkshire.  It 


334          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

amuses  me  that  she  should  have  taken  the  trouble  to 
think  so  much.  Sometimes  women  guess  things.  But  I 
incline  to  the  duller  view  that  it  was  written  by  an  Irish 
peer,  or  somebody  like  Lord  Robertson. 

I  have  not  thought  about  it.  But — as  I  write — it 
seems  to  me  the  product  rather  of  an  older  man  who  is 
cross  with  the  front-benches,  who  supplanted  him  ;  than 
of  a  younger  man  who  wants  to  supplant  them.  It 
smacks  of  '  spretae  injuria  formae  '  and  uric  acid.  There 
is  little  acidity  in  the  young. 

However  I  must  read  it.  This  opinion  is  based  011 
another  '  press  cutting  '  which  gave  longer  extracts. 

I  will  send  your  note  to  Perf.  You  could  not  have  hit 
on  a  better  present.  Perf  is  very  practical.  He  got  the 
Saighton  people  to  give  him  their  present,  before  we 
arrived.  Their  present  was  a  new  saddle,  bridle,  hunting- 
horn,  etc.  And,  having  got  it,  he  used  them  all  the  next 
day,  because  the  meet  was  at  Saighton.  All  the  donors 
looked  on  with  admiring  eyes  and  were  satisfied  that  they 
had  hit  on  something  which  he  was  glad  to  get. 

I  am  very  sorry  not  to  have  heard  his  speech.  But  I 
am  more  glad  that  he  should  have  done  a  sensible  and 
tactful  thing  without  consulting  me,  or  asking  for  any- 
body's advice.  There  is  no  indecision  in  his  character. 
He  could  act  Henry  v.  but  not  Hamlet. 

To  my  sorrow  the  Plymouths  are  in  great  anxiety  over 
their  eldest  son  who  is  dangerously  ill  with  enteric  in 
India.  I  shall  put  my  foot  down  against  Perf  going  to 
Egypt  till  he  is  twenty-three  at  least. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

702 

To  his  Mother 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
December  23rd,  1908. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  will  write  you  a  real  letter. 
This  is  only  a  scribble  of  all  love  to  you  and  to  wish  you 
a  merry  Christmas  and  happy  New  Year.  My  heart  is 


TO  HIS  FATHER  335 

very  sad  because  of  Oti's 1  death.    Is  has  been  such  anxiety 
to  them  and  now  this  great  sorrow. 

But  he  was  given  to  the  Empire  as  much  as  if  he  had 
died  in  battle.  Still  .  .  . 

Well,  Darling,  I  love  you. — Ever  your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

703 

To  his  Father 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  December  27th,  1908. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — This  is  to  wish  you  a  very  happy 
New  Year.  I  think  we  shall  come  to  you  on  the  9th, 
and  certainly  on  the  llth. 

I  have  had  three  days'  hunting  last  week  with  Percy 
and  enjoyed  them  very  much.  But  now  it  is  snowing 
and  blowing. 

I  will  send  you  the  Liverpool  speech  when  I  get  it. 
They  thought  very  little  of  Lloyd  George's  speech  in 
Liverpool.  One  of  the  Liberal  papers  said  that  he  was 
nervous  and  ill-at-ease. 

I  am  taking  no  notice  of  his  criticism  until  I  speak 
again.  Probably  I  shall  reserve  my  answer  to  February 
1st  when  I  speak  at  Birkenhead  next  to  Liverpool.  At 
Edinburgh  I  must  be  more  general  and  interest  the 
undergraduates . 

I  have  some  other  figures  about  capital  going  abroad. 
If  you  take  the  capital  authorised  and  issued  from  January 
1st  to  November  30th  of  this  year,  there  was  £80,000,000 
British  out  of  £230,000,000  in  all.  So  that  £150,000,000 
went  for  purposes  outside  this  country. 

That  is  new  capital  raised. 

The  effect  of  selling  British  securities  and  buying 
Foreign  ones  is  more  indirect :  but  it  also  tends  to  diminish 
employment.  For  example,  the  continued  sale  of  British 
Railway  Stock  depresses  its  value  and,  as  a  consequence, 
our  Railways  postpone  work.  We  put  off  rebuilding 
stations,  replacing  rolling  stock  etc.,  because,  with  Stocks 

1  Lord  Plymouth's  son. 


336          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

down  we  cannot  borrow  more  money  except  for  high 
interest,  and  sometimes  cannot  borrow  it  at  all. — Your 
loving  son,  GEORGE. 

704 

To  his  Father 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  January  l&th,  1909. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA,— I  enjoyed  every  minute  of  the 
celebrations  at  Clouds.1  They  were  perfectly  organized 
and  delightful  in  every  way.  I  am  just  in  from  a  great 
hound  run,  parts  of  which  were  very  good  to  ride ;  and 
all  most  interesting.  We  ran  from  Philo,  at  Oulton,  to 
Crewe  !  That  is  a  good  nine  mile  point,  over  an  arc, 
with  turns,  so  that  we  covered  a  great  track  of  country — 
Philo,  Oulton  Low,  nearly  to  Darnhall,  Church  Monshall 
and  on,  and  then  South  to  Crewe.  Shelagh,  de  Crespigny, 
Bertie  Wilson  and  young  Lord  Stafford  came  from  Eaton. 
I  borrowed  rugs  and  got  the  horses  into  a  train  at  Crewe. 
Then  we  borrowed  Lady  Crewe's  motor  and  went  to 
Shelagh's,  which  was  at  Oulton,  and  so  home. 

We  were  all  the  time  over  a  wild,  wet  country,  with 
boggy  take-offs  and  hairy  fences,  and  never  in  a  wood  or 
bad  country  till  we  got  into  the  outskirts  of  Crewe,  the 
fox  went  round  some  houses  and  doubled  back.  Shelagh 
was  so  tired — and  the  horses,  that  we  went  straight  to 
the  station.  The  fox  was  only  just  in  front  of  us  the  last 
four  miles.  All  love  to  darling  Mamma. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

705 

To  his  Father 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  February  5th,  1909. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  was  shocked  by  the  sad  death 
of  Lady  Florence  Grant 2  and  realised  how  deeply  you  would 

1  On  the  coming  of  age  of  his  son. 

2  Lady  Florence  Grant  was  knocked  down  by  a  man  on  a  bicycle  on  the  hill 
near  Shaftesbury. 


TO  HIS  FATHER  337 

feel  it.  I  read  Mamma's  letter  to  Sibell  to-night.  It  is 
sad  to  know  that  no  one  had  the  common  sense  to  put 
Lady  Florence  at  once  in  the  best  room  of  the  Railway 
Hotel.  But  I  doubt  if  this  would  have  availed.  Very 
few  people  recover  from  a  fracture  of  the  base  of  the  skull. 
And  I  am  certain  that  she  felt  nothing.  After  a  wound 
to  the  brain,  the  sub-liminal  consciousness  takes  command. 
People  so  wounded,  talk  and  know  the  essentials  of  their 
identity  and  the  locality  of  their  home.  But  they  feel 
nothing.  This  is  true  of  concussion,  and  more  true  of 
fracture. 

Sibell  wants  me  to  send  you  this  letter  from  Bigland, 
our  Candidate  from  Birkenhead.  The  meeting  was  a 
'  well  saved  '  and  because  of  that,  encouraged  me  more 
than  a  success  under  good  conditions.  The  strain  was 
so  great  that  I  did  not  know  what  I  was  saying  and,  when 
I  sat  down,  could  not  remember  what  I  had  said.  But, 
curiously,  the  reports  are  very  good ;  and  the  speech  is 
to  be  printed  in  pamphlet  form.  I  will  send  you  one  when 
they  are  out.  I  am  afraid  we  shall  not  get  a  report  of  all 
that  I  said  ;  for  I  spoke  for  one  hour  and  twenty  minutes. 
The  best  thing,  at  which  I  worked  hardest,  is  not  in  any 
report  I  have  seen.  I  shall  do  it  again.  It  was  a  popular 
account  of  what  happens  when  anybody  invests,  say, 
£4000  abroad.  I  shall  keep  that  and  do  it,  earlier,  in  one 
of  my  next  speeches.  I  am  speaking  on  the  27th  of 
March  at  the  21st  annual  meeting  of  the  Lancashire  and 
Cheshire  Working  Men's  Federation,  at  Wigan.  I  spoke 
21  years  ago  at  their  first  meeting.  Last  year  Walter 
Long  spoke  at  their  20th.  The  next  week,  on  April  2nd, 
I  collaborate  with  Austen  Chamberlain,  and  Bonar  Law, 
at  the  annual  meeting  of  the  Tariff  Reform  League. 
Hitherto  it  has  always  been  held  in  London.  This  year 
they  invade  Yorkshire.  A.  Chamberlain  speaks  at  Leeds, 
Bonar  Law — I  forget — and  I  at  Huddersfield.  Before 
these  two  I  am  to  have  one  big  meeting  in  London  to 
myself.  I  am  inundated  with  requests  for  speeches.  But 
I  mean,  in  future,  only  to  take  these  big  meetings,  and 
build  up  a  series  of  speeches  which  I  shall  publish  in  a 

VOL.  II.  Y 


338          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

book.  Four  of  them  have  been  printed  as  pamphlets 
(including  Birkenhead).  After  Wigan  and  Huddersfield, 
I  shall  have  made  six  or  seven  with  London  ;  enough  for 
a  book.  Then,  next  late  summer,  I  shall  make  a  tour  hi 
Scotland  where,  as  Lord  Rector  of  Edinburgh  I  get  the 
Press. 

This  has  been  one  of  the  most  active  weeks  of  my  life. 
After  Birkenhead  I  caught  the  11.55  at  Liverpool  for 
London,  and  slept  in  the  train.  Next  day,  Tuesday,  I 
did  our  Railway  half  yearly  from  11  to  2  ;  wrote  a  letter 
to  the  '  Standard  '  and  another  to  the  '  Morning  Post/ 
They  sent  to  ask  me  for  a  letter ;  because  the  London 
Press  summary  of  my  speech  had  a  stupid  abbreviation 
which  was  bound  to  mislead  anyone.  I  despair  of  the 
Press.  The  London  Papers  to-day,  for  example,  have 
columns  about  the  Scotch  Divorce  Case ;  Mrs.  Carrie 
Nation — an  elderly  American  matron  with  a  passion  for 
'  smashing  '  advertisements  and  '  twaddle  '  by  Bernard 
Shaw  about  pedantry  by  Mallock.  Austen  Chamberlain, 
I  hear,  spoke  well  last  night  at  Shrewsbury  for  an  hour 
to  a  great  audience.  The  4  Times  '  gives  him  18|  inches. 
The  '  Standard,'  nothing. 

That  being  so,  I  shall  continue  to  make  speeches  which 
are  essays ;  and  then,  re-publish  them.  I  came  back 
here  Tuesday.  On  Wednesday  I  sorted  all  my  corre- 
spondence and  walked  ten  miles.  I  was  quite  alone  in  the 
house,  Sibell  being  at  Madresfield. 

And,  to  wind  up  the  week,  yesterday  and  to-day  I  did 
more  hunting  than  usually  goes  to  a  fortnight,  or  even 
a  month.  Yesterday  I  rode  in  five  runs  and  to-day  hi  two. 
I  had  two  horses  each  day.  The  first  run  began  about  12 
o'clock  yesterday,  the  seventh  finished  at  3.30  to-day. 
So  that,  apart  from  incidental  riding  to  and  from  the 
'  draws  '  I  have  ridden  seven  gallops  in  27  hours.  On  a 
minimum  estimate  I  make  out  that  I  have  galloped  and 

jumped  forty  miles  :— 9+3+5+3+9+7+4=40.  The  ones 
I  have  marked  x  were  all  five  excellent — just  as  fast  as 
you  can  drive  a  horse ;  and  all  the  seven  over  grass  and 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  339 

fences.  We  jumped  all  there  is  to  jump.  Yesterday  we 
jumped  the  Tattenhall  brook  three  times,  and  to-day  the 
Cholmondeley  drain  twice.  And  these  are  our  two  big 
water  leaps.  I  enjoyed  it  hugely ;  but  feel  tired,  and 
am  going  to  bed.  We  killed  three  foxes.  The  horses 
are  none  the  worse  but  tired  too. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

P.S. — One  ought  not  to  think  about  jumping  when 
intent  on  the  chase.  But  I  was  pleased  when  '  Cardinal ' 
*  looped  '  me  over  quite  a  high  flight  of  iron  rails. 


706 

To  his  Mother 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  February  13th,  1909. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — You  will  know  from  my  two 
telegrams  how  sad  we  are.  We  had  a  little  hope  yester- 
day evening.  But  a  little  before  six  o'clock  this  morning 
dear  Benny  rang  us  up  to  say  the  little  boy  was  uncon- 
scious. 

I  drove  Sibell  and  Lettice  over  at  once.  Dr.  Dobie 
whom  I  met  at  the  door  told  me  there  was  no  hope  and 
at  8.30  Lettice  told  me  the  little  child  was  dying. 

No  one  was  aware  really  that  he  was  ill  till  Monday 
when  the  Dobies  (Chester  doctors)  advised  an  operation 
for  appendicitis.  Sir  Alfred  Fripp  came  Tuesday  and 
said  the  operation  must  be  performed  on  Wednesday. 

This  was  done,  revealing  an  abcess ;  but  successfully. 
But  the  little  fellow  suffered  from  continuous  sickness. 
We  were  very  anxious  yesterday.  Then  he  slept  for 
four  hours  and  our  hopes  rose.  But  now  we  have  none. 

Dear  Shelagh  talked  of  you  and  your  love,  and  would 
I  know,  love  a  letter. 

Will  write  by  second  post. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 


340          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

707 

To  his  Mother 

SAIGBTON  GRANGE, 
February  13th,  1909. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  have  just  sent  you  the  third 
telegram.  The  little  boy  died  quite  peacefully  at  11 
o'clock.  I  had  no  hope  after  seven  o'clock  this  morning. 

He  was  staying  here  with  us  only  the  week  before  last ; 
full  of  love  and  fun.  Little  Ursula  has  been  here  since 
Wednesday  and  does  not  know  or  realise. 

Beauchamp  brought  darling  Lettice  here  last  night. 
As  I  told  you  in  my  last  letter  we  had  hopes  then,  for  he 
had  slept  from  3  to  7  o'clock.  Bendor  has  been  wonder- 
fully brave.  On  Thursday  night  he  took  the  chair  at  a 
meeting  for  a  few  minutes  and  explained  why  he  had  to 
leave  it  and  go  home. 

Shelagh  has  been  wonderful  in  the  sick-room  and 
Benny  has  buoyed  her  up  between-whiles. 

Everything  that  could  be  done  to  save  him,  was  done. 
He  suffered  hardly  at  all :  indeed,  I  think  not  at  all.  He 
was  an  extraordinarily  brave  little  boy,  never  complaining 
and  talking  a  little  to  his  father  and  mother. 

Sibell  told  me  this  morning  that  two  days  ago  when 
they  were  only  anxious  Shelagh  talked  of  you  and  wanted 
to  hear  from  you. — Your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

P.S. — 5  p.m.  Thanks  for  dear  telegram.  I  walked 
with  dear  Benny  to  choose  the  little  grave  this  afternoon. 
The  funeral  is  at  12  o'clock  on  Monday.  Sibell  has  told 
Ursula. 

EATON,  CHESTER, 
February  I4th,  1909. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — Your  letter — I  am  told—- 
was a  great  help  to  dear  Shelagh.  I  have  not  seen  her. 
The  terrible  side  of  it  strikes  her.  Benny  is  quite  wonder- 
ful— just  the  simplest  courage  and  great  kindness. 

Darling   Cuckoo   arrived   about   7   o'clock   last   night. 


TO  CHARLES  T.  GATTY  341 

After  dinner  S.  S.  Cuckoo,  Lettice  and  I  went  over.  S.  S. 
had  arrayed  the  little  boy's  coffin,  under  a  white  soft 
silk  pall,  in  the  chancel  of  the  chapel  here,  with  six  silver 
candle-sticks,  and  lilies  in  silver  vases,  and  boughs  of 
blossoming  trees  around  it. 

We,  with  Benny,  Colonel  Lloyd  and  Cecil  Parker,  and 
no  one  else,  went  there,  and  S.  S.  read  beautiful  sentences 
out  of  her  old  books. 

Then  we  all  manoeuvred  to  get  Benny  and  Sibell  a 
night's  rest.  They  both  slept.  This  morning  Cuckoo 
and  Lettice,  went  over  to  Ben  and  S.  S.  and  I  took  little 
Ursula  to  Bruera  Church,  and  went  on  to  Eaton,  and 
Ursula  saw  Shelagh. 

I  am  now  going  to  take  a  walk  with  Benny. 

The  local  papers  said  that  he  and  Shelagh  were  prostrate. 
That  is  not  true.  Benny — without  a  touch  of  bitterness 
or  hardness  or  complaint — is  as  straight  as  a  sword  ;  just 
a  simple  emblem  of  finely  tempered  courage.  He  is  quite 
natural — himself  only  more  so. — Your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

708 
To  Charles  T.  Gatty 

35  PARK  LANE    W., 

20.ii.09 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — The  play  I  was  trying  to  recall  is 
named  '  The  Return  from  Parnassus.'  It  was  acted  by 
the  students  of  St.  John's  College,  Cambridge.  The  date 
is  uncertain.  Arber  argues  for  January  of  1602. 

What  a  strange  thing  memory  is.  In  all  the  rush  of 
the  last  8  days  I  had  forgotten  what  I  was  doing  three 
weeks  ago.  But  when  you  asked  me  the  date  of  this 
play,  I  said  1602  !  though  I  have  not  thought  of  that  for 
eleven  years. 

I  do  hope  you  will  come  to  luncheon  to-morrow,  Sunday. 
You  could  glance  at  the  passages  about  this  and  similar 
attacks. — Yours  affectionately, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 


342          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

709 

To  his  Mother 

36  PARK  LANE,  W., 

February  20th,  1909. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — It  is  long  since  Bun  used  to 
paste  '  Press-cuttings '  in  a  book,  and  long  since  I  have 
read  them. 

But  I  send  you  these  because  I  believe  the  debate  which 
ended  yesterday  was  historic. 

It  is  sixty  and  odd  years  since  Disraeli,  bidding  farewell 
to  Protection,  said  '  But  the  dark  and  inevitable  hour 
will  arrive.  Then,  when  their  spirit  is  softened  by  mis- 
fortune they  will  recur  to  those  principles  which  made 
England  great,  and  which,  in  our  belief,  alone  can  keep 
England  great.  Then  too,  perhaps,  they  may  remember, 
but  with  kindness,  those  who,  betrayed  and  deserted, 
were  neither  ashamed  nor  afraid  to  struggle  for  the  good 
old  cause  .  .  .  the  cause  of  labour,  the  cause  of  the 
people,  the  cause  of  England.' 

Yesterday,  for  the  first  time  since  then,  an  effective 
party,  made  an  effective  fight,  for  that  cause. 

I  am  glad  that  I  led  the  attack  yesterday. — Your 
loving  son,  GEORGE. 

P.S. — I  led  the  attack  yesterday.  But  Austen  Cham- 
berlain led  it  on  Thursday  and  made  a  very  good  speech. 

710 

To  his  Father 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

February  20th,  1909. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  propose  going  to  Charles  at 
Petworth  next  Saturday,  27th.  I  may,  possibly,  run 
down  on  Thursday  25th,  for  a  hunt  Friday :  but  must 
dine  with  the  Speaker,  Friday  night,  26th. 

We  had  a  capital  debate  on  Tariff  Reform  ;  and  the  best 
of  it  all  the  time.  People  were  pleased  with  my  speech. 


TO  HIS  FATHER  343 

I  spoke  for  one  hour  and  six  minutes.     Austen  Chamber- 
lain made  a  good  speech  the  first  day. 

Arthur  was  very  good  in  his  philosophic  way.  To  win 
in  the  country  it  is  necessary  to  attack  more  directly  the 
position  of  the  Free  Traders  and  to  state  facts  and  figures, 
which  other  speakers  can  use.  It  is  that  which  puts  up  a 
fight  all  along  the  line. 

Unless  that  is  done  the  untrue  assertions  that  there 
is  more  unemployment  and  dearer  living  in  protected 
countries  impose  upon  the  working-men. 

Love  to  darling  Mamma. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

711 

To  his  Father 

NEWLANDS  MANOR, 
LYMINGTON,  HANTS,  Monday,  February  22,  1909. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  ran  down  here  to-day  to  give 
dear  Bendor  some  exercise.  We  took  a  long  walk  by  the 
cliffs  opposite  the  Needles  and  then  had  a  gallop  on  the 
sands  in  which  dear  Shelagh  joined.  Our  principal  exer- 
cise consisted  in  making  the  horses  go  into  the  sea.  They 
pretended  to  be  frightened  by  the  waves,  but,  in  the  end, 
enjoyed  their  bathing  very  much. 

I  just  proposed  myself  and  they  jumped  at  it,  I  am  stay- 
ing the  night  and  return  early  to-morrow  for  the  Irish 
Amendment.  Give  my  love  to  dear  Pug  [Pamela  Preston], 

My  speech  was  a  success.  A  good  many  people  said  it 
was  the  best  I  have  made  in  this  Parliament.  I  prepared 
it  in  the  early  hours,  six  to  eight  of  Thursday,  and  seven 
to  eight  o'clock  of  Friday  morning.  All  my  day-time  was 
full-up. 

My  chief  interest — as  I  wrote  to  Mamma — was  that  this 
is  the  first  time,  since  Peel  broke  the  party,  that '  a  party  ' 
have  acted  together  for  safe-guarding  British  employ- 
ment. The  debate  has  an  historic  interest  and,  on  our 
side,  was  worthy  of  the  occasion.  The  Government  de- 
fence was  weak.  Masterman  missed  the  importance  of 


344          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

the  occasion  and  lost  the  '  House '  by  feeble  banter. 
Lloyd  George  deliberately  shirked — speaking  for  only 
twenty  minutes — and  Churchill  was  merely  smart.  His 
admission  that  the,  Government  might  have  to  take  some 
action  in  face  of  the  proposed  French  Tariff  gave  offence 
to  the  '  out  and  outers  '  on  his  side ;  and  with  reason. 
For  if  once  they  admit  that  the  Tariff  reprisals  may  be 
less  injurious  than  trusting  to  the  '  Most  Favoured  Nation  *' 
clause,  they  are  beaten. 

Their  men  have  been  taught  to  assert  the  contrary  with 
scornful  confidence.  They  cannot  change  their  tactics 
now  without  turning  their  forces  into  a  mob. 

There  is  an  instructive  letter  on  the  French  Tariff  in 
to-day's  *  Morning  Post.' 

It  proves  our  contention  that  these  Tariffs  are  designed 
to  attract  imports  of  mainly  unmanufactured  articles.  In 
this  case  there  is  a  high  duty  on  wholly  manufactured 
woollens,  a  low  duty  on  woollen  '  threads  '  and  a  rebate^ 
of  60%  even  of  that,  on  the  export  of  the  finished  article. 
As  I  put  it  in  a  passage — not  reported — the  object  and, 
in  a  large  measure,  the  effect  of  these  Tariffs  is  to  change 
the  contents  of  the  currents  hi  the  vast  streams  of  our 
Imports  and  Exports. 

I  hope  this  frost  will  go  as  I  may  get  a  day's  hunting 
with  Charles  1  at  Up  Park  on  Friday — come  back  to  dine 
with  the  Speaker — and  return  to  Petworth  Saturday. 
My  horses  go  there  Tuesday. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

712 

To  his  Mother 

36  PARK  LANE,  W., 

Evening,  March  31st,  1909. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  had  a  glimpse  of  dear  Minnie 
to-day,  looking  her  best.  I  only  saw  her  for  a  few  moments 
and  must  have  seemed,  as  indeed  I  was,  '  hardly  all  there.' 
I  was  just  '  betwixt  and  between,'  getting  out  of  bed  from 

1  Lord  Lecon field. 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  345 

chill  and  temperature  and  going  down  to  the  House  to 
speak  on  dear  old  Irish  Land  Purchase.  And  what  little 
else  there  is  left  of  me — as  a  total  personality — had  sped 
away  with  S.  S.  by  the  12.10  to  see  dear  Katie  and  all  of 
them,  in  the  farm  house  at  Woor  with  dear,  beautiful 
Molly.1  Now  I  have  a  gleam  of  hope  for  Molly.  S.  S.  and 
I  couldn't  hope  much  this  morning.  That 's  why  she 
went  off  to  Crewe,  to  motor  out  to  Katie  at  the  farm. 
But  when  I  got  back  here  about  9  o'clock  I  found  a  good 
wire  from  S.  S.  4  Better  account,  hopeful,  delighted  with 
flowers.'  I  had  sent  a  lot  of  flowers  from  I.  Solompn's. 
I  couldn't  do  anything,  and  there  was  nothing  to  be  said. 
So  I  thought  that  a  lot  of  lovely  flowers  by  special  express 
to  the  farm  would  be  a  little  token  of  companionship  and 
hope  and  Spring  ;  just  a  signal  that  didn't  want  an  answer. 
So  I  was  glad  to  hear  that  she  got  them,  and  liked  them. 
We  've  had  many  a  good  ride  together  since,  long  ago,  we 
jumped  the  Saighton  Drain  side  by  side,  when  she  was  a 
little  girl  with  her  hair  in  a  pig-tail,  riding  '  Oak-apple.' 

I  had  that  wire  to-night,  and  your  excellent  wire  about 
dear  Papa  yesterday,  and  a  glimpse  of  Perf  yesterday 
morning  at  6  o'clock.  He  had  come  up  overnight  to  ride 
a  gallop  at  Kenley.  I  'd  had  a  real  old-fashioned  feverish 
night — only  101 — with  a  draft  every  three  hours.  And 
to  hear  the  boisterous  splashing  in  the  bath  at  6  a.m.  and 
again,  after  the  ride,  at  10,  '  bucked  me  up  '  and  made 
me  feel  that  we  are  all,  really,  eternally  young  and  endowed 
with  everlasting  hope. 

So  I  reversed  the  treatment  from  febrifuge  to  tonic ; 
settled  to  speak  to-day  in  the  House  ;  settled  not  to  attempt 
Huddersfield  on  Friday ;  settled  not  to  dream  of  Dread- 
noughts and  Tariff  Reform,  and  Irish  Land,  and  illness, 
and  accidents,  as  one  wonderful  problem,  of  which  I  had 
once  known  the  simple  solution  ;  unaccountably  forgotten, 
and  wearily  pursued  through  a  feverish  night.  All  that 
broke  and  dissolved  in  the  showers  of  Perf's  splashing. 
And,  since  his  bath,  I  had  your  excellent  news  of  Papa  and 
a  glimpse  of  Minnie  and  the  better  news  of  Molly ;  and 

1  Lady  Crichton. 


346          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

have  spoken  for  one  hour  and  five  minutes  on  Irish  Land  ; 
and  none  the  worse. 

Indeed  all  I  have  to  do  is  to  stick  to  my  resolution  not 
to  try  Huddersfield  on  Friday.  Perhaps  that  would  be 
tempting  '  little  gods  '  too  far.  The  '  little  gods  '  have 
been  very  busy  with  us  lately.  If  we  beat  them  back  a 
bit  by  our  eternal  youth  and  everlasting  hope  :  we  must 
not  therefore  presume.  We  must  be  modest  and  mean 
and  go  to  bed — as  I  do  now. — Your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

P.S. — All  this  is  only  about  our  own  fears  and  hopes. 
The  great  fact  of  the  last  three  days  is  that  Arthur  has 
been  glorious.  In  his  speeches — Monday,  in  the  House ; 
Tuesday,  to  10,000  in  Agricultural  Hall,  Islington  ;  to-day 
in  the  Guildhall,  he  has  captured  the  Empire  for  Naval 
supremacy  and  Tariff  Reform  ;  and  now  holds  those  two 
issues,  and  all  the  true  forces  of  the  Empire  in  his  hand. 
Tell  this  to  Papa. 

We  have  won  the  race.  But  the  course  is  not  finished. 
We  have  only  to  think  now  of  '  staying  the  course.'  So, 
I  repeat,  I  am  going  to  bed. 

713 

To  his  Mother 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

Tuesday,  April  27th,  1909. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  shall  love  to  stay  at  '  44  ' 
this  summer  to  be  with  you  and  dear  Papa.  I  shall  not 
be  living  there  till  after  Whitsuntide.  But  as  I  go  out 
with  Yeomanry  on  May  9th,  it  would  simplify  my  arrange- 
ments if  I  can  send  my  things  to  wait  for  me  there,  before 
that  date. 

I  was  '  shot  at  short  notice  '  to  be  the  '  Guest  of  the 
evening  '  of  the  Tariff  Reform  Committee  in  the  House  of 
Commons  last  night.  There  was  a  very  full  attendance. 
Edmund  Talbot  was  in  the  chair.  I  spoke  for  thirty  or 
forty  minutes.  Nobody  knows  which  it  was !  I  am 
rarely  other  than  displeased  with  my  own  speeches  ;  and 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  347 

very  rarely  pleased.  Last  night  was  all  right.  When  that 
happens  it  puts  me  in  better  heart. 

And — in  a  quiet  way — lots  of  people  showed  that  they 
wanted  to  *  say  sorry.'  Some  of  the  extreme  Ulster-men 
attended.  People  do  notice  things.  F.  E.  Smith  spoke 
and  said  that  no  one  had  done  such  platform-work.  He 
said  one  thing  which  I  would  only  quote,  quite  privately, 
to  you,  but  which — I  own — did  please  me,  and  pleases  me 
still : — *  For  three  years  wherever  the  clouds  were  darkest, 
there  you  found  Wyndham  fighting.'  Well !  well !  But 
how  silly  that  makes  it  all.  But  the  point  of  the  evening 
was  that  I  converted  a  '  sinner  '  ;  like  a  methodist  at  a 
revival.  Sir  Philip  Magnus,  who  has  been  little  better 
than  a  free-fooder,  got  up  after  my  speech  and  '  testified.' 
He  said  I  had  convinced  him  and  that,  henceforward, 
he  chucked  Cobden  and  would  go  bald-headed  for  Tariff 
Reform. 

To-morrow  night  I  have  to  play  on  a  *  queer-pitch.'  I 
am  the  '  Guest  of  the  evening '  at  the  Militia  Club  with 
Lord  Wemyss  as  the  other  and  Duke  of  Bedford  in  the 
Chair.  Whew !  There  could  not  be  a  more  difficult 
moment  or  a  more  difficult  audience,  or  a  more  difficult — 
and  deaf — ally. 

Very  well.  I  really  love  '  cramped  odds.'  And  these 
are  so  cramped  and  exorbitant,  that  preparation  is  out  of 
the  question.  I  mean  to  say  just  what  I  think ;  after 
due  warning  that,  as  things  are,  no  sane  man  can  do  more 
than  brood  over  the  waters  of  chaos,  like  the  Holy  Ghost. 
— Your  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

714 

To  his  Mother 

36  PARK  LANE,  W., 

April  30th,  1909. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  send  you  back  something 
that  belongs  to  you.  I  made  a  good  speech  on  Wednesday 
— no  reporters — to  the  Militia  Club  with  Bedford  in  the 
Chair.  Yesterday,  Thursday,  I  played  Polo  in  the  morning 


348          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

at  Wembley  Park  and  enjoyed  the  game.  My  side  won 
by  seven  to  three.  Guy,  Minnie,  and  little  George  lunched, 
then  I  raced  off  to  the  Marjory  Eden  Wedding  at  2  o'clock, 
and  on  to  the  Budget  at  3. 

The  Budget — t  O  my  eye  '  Banbury's  description  is  the 
best : — *  The  maddest  Budget  ever  introduced.'  I  hope 
dear  Papa  will  not  permit  it  to  bother  him.  From  a  Tariff 
Reform  point  of  view  I  am  glad  it  is  so  mad  ;  and  will 
pay  up  cheerfully  hi  the  knowledge  that  it  will  make  more 
converts  to  our  cause  than  any  number  of  speeches. — Your 
most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

715 

To  his  Father 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
May  13th,  1909. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  was  delighted  to  hear  from  you. 
Tunes  are  pretty  bad,  but  there  will  soon  be  a  reaction. 

I  came  up  from  our  camp  on  Salisbury  Plain  to  put  in 
two  fights  on  the  Budget,  and  return  this  afternoon. 

Harold  Cox  made  a  brilliant  speech  yesterday.  I  will 
send  it  to  you.  The  Government  meant  to  force  through 
the  Income  Tax  resolution  last  night.  But  we  frightened 
them  to  bed  soon  after  12.30.  We  expected  an  all-night 
sitting. 

The  Yeomanry  have  turned  out  in  great  strength.  Our 
old  Brigade,  Cheshire  under  Arthur  Grosvenor,  Shropshire 
under  Lord  Kenyon,  Denbighshire  under  Parry,  and  a 
battery  of  Artillery  is  encamped  at  the  far  end  of  Salisbury 
Plain  between  Ell  Barrow  and  Urchfont  Clump.  I  shall 
motor  over  to  see  you  some  afternoon  soon. 

It  is  very  cold  at  night,  but  glorious  in  the  morning. 
The  Downs  are  covered  with  cowslips.  Each  of  the  three 
regiments  is  between  430  and  450  in  strength — a  big 
Brigade.  It  is  a  fine  performance  of  these  farmers  to  have 
left  their  work  and  travelled  all  night  with  the  horses  in 
cattle  trucks. 

I  set  a  tactical  scheme  for  two  squadrons  of  Cheshire 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  349 

against  two  squadrons  of  Shropshire  which  was  to  be  fought 

to-day.     I  shall  be  interested  to  know  what  has  happened. 

Love  to  darling  Mamma. — Your  loving  son,    GEORGE. 


716 

To  his  Mother 

THE  BELL  INN, 

\WLYE,  So.  WILTS, 

May  16th,  1909,  10.30  p.m. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — My  little  adventure  is  not  yet 
over,  but,  so  far,  I  have  enjoyed  it,  every  minute.  What 
with  my  having  to  master  the  mysteries  of  a  free-wheel 
and  our  both  having  to  walk  up  the  hills,  it  became  appar- 
ent to  me  that  I  was  delaying  Fletcher,  and  not  improbable 
that  I  should  not  stay  the  whole  course.  So,  when  we 
<^,me  to  face  the  long  climb  up  to  Great  Ridge  from  the 
old  house  at  the  far  end  of  Chicklade  Bottom,  we  made 
another  plan.  By  '  facing  the  climb,'  I  mean  seeing  what  it 
was  going  to  be  like  from  the  high  ground  beyond  Hindon. 
Seeing  that,  we  decided  that  he  should  push  on  to  the 
Camp  and  send  a  motor  back.  By  that  time  we  reckoned 
that  young  Mallet  had  not  succeeded  in  getting  Jack 
Bennett's  motor,  or  the  other  visionary  one  in  Shaftesbury. 
And  this,  indeed,  is  now  confirmed ;  for  it  is  past  10.30. 

I,  for  my  part,  undertook  to  get  to  Wylye  and  wait  near 
the  Church.  The  motor  from  the  camp  (when  it  comes) 
is  to  blow  its  horn.  I  gave  him  the  map  and  matches  and 
off  he  went,  like  an  arrow  down  the  steep  hill  to  the  old 
house  at  the  far  end  of  Chicklade  Bottom.  After  sweeping 
down  I  could  see  him,  in  the  failing  light,  walking  up  the 
long  hill  to  Stockton  Wood. 

By  then,  I  had  so  far  mastered  the  art  of  free-wheeling, 
that  I  got  the  whole  way  down  that  hill  without  dismount- 
ing or  being  run  away  with.  Then  I  walked  up  the  long 
pull  to  Stockton  Wood,  sweating  at  every  pore. 

I  remounted  and  shot  through  the  gloom  of  Stockton 
Wood.  Having  experienced  some  difficulty  in  catching 
the  pedal,  when  it  was  too  dark  to  see  it ;  and  bethinking 


350          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

me  that  discretion  was  the  better  part  of  valour,  I  dis- 
mounted before  the  very  steep  part  of  the  descent  into  the 
Wylye  valley.  But  I  ran  most  of  the  way  down.  As  I 
came  to  the  Railway  Bridge  over  the  Salisbury  to  Bath 
line,  I  met  a  youth  and  asked  if  there  was  any  inn  near 
the  Church.  He  recommended  the  Bell  Inn,  and  here  I 
am. 

I  got  here  at  9.20  and  explained  my  plight  to  the  Land- 
lord. He  was  very  sympathetic.  I  blessed  the  House  of 
Lords  for  throwing  out  the  Licensing  Bill,  and  considered 
in  how  much  deeper  a  hole  I  should  have  been  had  they 
passed  it. 

The  Inn  was  full  of  good  fellows  and  village  matrons, 
'  burring  '  away  in  broad  Wiltshire  ;  all  quite  sober,  civil, 
kindly  and  companionable. 

But  mine  host  impressed  by  the  advent  of  a  real  *  Bona 
fide  '  traveller  and  detecting  my  foreign  accent,  showed 
me  into  a  little  parlour  like  a  ship's  cabin.  The  walls  are 
enlivened  by  the  old  coloured  prints  of  the  *  First  Steeple 
Chase  on  record  ' ;  the  one  in  which  officers  ride  by  moon- 
light in  their  night-shirts — a  congenial  theme,  and  opposite 
me  hangs  an  old  coloured  print  of  Wellington  and  Nelson. 

He  prepared  me  a  supper  of  fried  eggs,  broiled  slabs  of 
uncured  ham,  bread,  cheese  and  beer.  This  was  English 
and  quite  wonderfully  good. 

It  made  me  feel  what  a  good  country  England  has  been, 
and  might  be,  but  for  the  absurd  people  who  have  never 
lived  in  the  country. 

The  clock  is  now  striking  eleven — rather  fast — I  make 
it  six  minutes  to  eleven. 

I  calculate  that  Fletcher  cannot  get  to  camp  before 
eleven.  I  hope  he  is  getting  there  now.  If  so  I  may  be 
relieved  at  midnight.  '  But  then,  again,  No.'  The 
chauffeurs  may  be  in  Lavington.  They  may  miss  their 
way.  But  Fletcher  will  '  get '  somehow  and  then,  they 
will  know  where  I  am.  At  worst  I  shall  sleep  on  the  horse- 
hair sofa  and  push  on  at  dawn. 

It  takes  many  off-chances,  coming  off  with  a  vengeance, 
to  get  benighted  in  England  in  the  xxth  century,  even  on 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  351 

Salisbury  Plain.  But  this  was  once  a  common  experience. 
It  is  by  no  means  an  unpleasant  one. 

I  have  six  illustrated  volumes  of  the  '  Russian  War  ' 
with  steel  engravings  of  Canrobert,  Raglan,  Lord  Cardigan  ; 
the  battle  of  Inkerman,  the  charge  of  the  Light  Brigade. 
It  is  prefaced  with  a  synopsis  of  Russian  history,  which 
I  have  read.  I  have  also  read  a  capital  old  guide  book 
to  Stonehenge,  published  in  1802. 

On  the  title  page  are  four  lines  from  the  prize  essay  of 
T.  S.  Salmon.  They  are  very  good  of  their  kind. 

*  Wrapt  in  the  veil  of  Time's  unbroken  gloom, 
Obscure  as  death,  and  silent  as  the  tomb  ; 
Where  cold  oblivion  holds  her  dusty  reign 
Frowns  her  dark  pile  on  Sarum's  lonely  plain.' 

This  invaluable  work  contains  the  '  Various  Conjectures  ' 
of 


Geoffrey  of  Monmouth 
Giraldus  Cambrencis 
Camden 
Jones 
Charlton 

Aubrey 
Sammes 
Speed 
Stukeley 
Wood 

Smith 
Wansey 
Maton 
King 
Hoare 

Britton 
Browne 
Weaver 
Duke 
Thumham 

You  read  them  all  and  take  your  choice.  I  have  read 
them  all. 

Browne  takes  my  fancy.  He  sees  in  Stonehenge  an 
'  Antediluvian  Creation,'  and  traces  the  exact  manner  in 
which  the  Flood  swept  up  to  the  Stones  and  by  guttering 
through  them  made  certain  little  channels  in  the  ground 
between  them. 

The  next  man  on  the  list,  Weaver,  was  a  poor  sceptic. 
He  thought  these  slight  depressions  were  made  by  all  the 
people  who  had  walked  and  ridden  between  them  for  so 


352          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

many  years.     I  shall  finish  this  when  (?)  I  hear  the  horn, 
or  before  starting  on  my  bicycle  at  Daybreak  .  .  . 

One  a.m.  !  has  just  struck,  I  have  been  half  asleep  on 
the  sofa.  Shall  now  go  quite  asleep  in  a  bed  if  I  can  get 
one  and  bicycle  on  at  Dawn. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

717 

To  his  Father 

44  BELGRAVK  SQUARE,  S.W., 
May  27th,  1909. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — We  are  just  off  to  Paris.  I  am 
scribbling  this  in  a  hurry  to  tell  you  that  I  have  heard 
glowing  accounts  of  Percy's  soldiering.  (1)  On  Monday  I 
sat  next  Lady  Halifax  at  Lettice's  dinner-party.  Lady  H. 
is  related  to  Sutton,  2nd  in  command  of  Perks'  battalion. 
Sutton  had  told  her  that  Percy  was  much  the  best  of  all 
the  young  officers.  (2)  On  Tuesday,  at  the  '  Nulli ' 
Dinner,  Arthur  Henniker  who  commands  the  1st  Brigade, 
in  the  Aldershot  Division,  with  Percy's  battalion  in  it, 
began  talking  of  him  to  me.  Said  he  was  a  very  good 
soldier,  that  he  had  employed  him  as  acting  Brigade 
Major !  on  some  field-days ;  that  he  wanted  him  to 
'  gallop  '  for  him,  i.e.  be  A.D.C.,  only  the  present  A.D.C. 
was  staying  on ;  and  that  Percy  ought  to  try  for  the  ad- 
jutancy and  would  make  a  good  one.  (3)  Colonel  *  Billy  ' 
Lambton,  Percy's  C.O.  also  began  the  same  conversation, 
wanted  him  to  be  adjutant,  and  would  help  to  '  push  '  him 
for  A.D.C.  All  this  made  me  very  happy. 

1  Billy  '  Lambton  seemed  to  think  that  I  should  want 
to  take  Percy  out  of  the  Brigade.  I  told  him  that,  whilst 
Percy  was  free  to  carve  out  his  own  career,  I,  personally 
should  much  prefer  him  to  stick  to  the  Army  and  should 
advise  him  not  to  enter  politics. 

If  they  do  put  him  on  the  staff  of  the  Brigade,  whilst 
at  Aldershot,  he  will  get  an  early  insight  into  the  interest 
of  soldiering  and  so  not  be  '  choked  off '  by  the  ten  or 
twelve  years  of  regimental  routine  and  guard  mounting. 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  353 

I  should  love  to  see  him  galloping  on  manoeuvres.  They 
all  say  he  has  a  true  gift  for  soldiering.  If  that  is  so,  and 
he  leaves  the  Army  young,  he  will  regret  it,  no  matter  how 
successful  he  may  be  at  anything  else. 

Love  to  darling  Mamma. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

P.S. — Nelly's *  Ball  was  a  triumphant  success.  I 
brought  on  Arthur  Balfour  from  the  House,  and  took  Lady 
Salisbury  to  supper.  Chang  and  Manenai  played  up  and 
'  all  was  gas  and  gaiters.' 


718 
To  his  Mother 

44  BELGRAVE  SQUARE,  S.W., 
June  8th,  1909. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  have  booked  24th  for  your 
dear  birthday  and  shall  look  forward  to  it.  We  had  a 
great  time  in  France — Chartres,  Fontainebleau,  Meudon, 
St.  Germain,  Meridon,  and  all  the  galleries  and  museums. 
I  enjoyed  it  very  much  and  feel  very  well. 

Tuesday  at  Fontainebleau  was  one  of  the  most  beautiful 
days  I  remember.  The  sun  was  hot  and  had  exhaled  all 
the  resin  from  miles  of  firs  and  all  the  oxygen  from  billions 
of  leaves,  and  all  the  scents  of  moss  and  heather,  and  a 
light  evening  breeze  blew  all  that  incense  through  the  cool 
caverns  under  beech-trees  one  hundred  feet  high. 

In  the  Cluny  Museum  I  saw  a  treasure  after  our  own 
hearts, — three  crowns  of  Gothic  Kings  offered  at  Toledo 
in  about  670  A.D.  and  dug  up  not  many  years  ago.  This, 
again,  shews  that  legends  and  Poets  are  always  in  advance 
of  discovery.  For  all  the  business  of  the  Romance  of 
old  Spam  was  written  long  before  the  archaeologist  un- 
earthed the  crowns.  Hanging  from  the  lower  rim  of  the 
largest  is  a  fringe  of  Gothic  letters,  each  suspended  by  a 
separate  chain.  They  say  in  Lathi  that  RECCES- 
w  i  N  T  H  o  s  (Recceswinthus)  offered  his  crown  to  the 

1  Mrs.  Grahame  Stewart. 
VOL.  II.  Z 


354          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

Lord.  I  used  to  love  the  rugged  end  of  their  names, 
especially  the  Princess  Amala-swinthus,  which  worked  in 
the  God-descended  Amals,  whom  Kipling  introduces  in 
4  Pook's  Hill.'  And  now  I  have  seen  their  crowns.  In 
the  Louvre,  I  was  disgusted  to  see  the  sword  of  Charle- 
magne which  you  shewed  me  when  I  was  ten  years  old, 
re-labelled  xnth  Century.  Pooh  ! — Your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

719 

To  his  Cousin,  Gerald  Campbell 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

Friday,  29  July  '09 

MY  DEAR  GERALD, — Many  thanks  for  the  book.1  I 
shall  read  it  with  deep  interest. 

But,  now,  about  a  few  pp.  of  introduction.  It  depends 
on  time.  When  must  you  have  them  ?  I  must  finish  the 
Session  before  I  give  a  thought  to  anything  else,  say  to 
17  August.  Then  I  must  rest  for  a  fortnight,  so  that  I 
could  not  write,  and  revise,  before  September  20th  or  so 
at  earliest. 

If  I  wrote,  it  would  be  to  say  that  all  of  us — first  cousins 
— have  owed  to  our  mother  or  father,  as  the  case  may  be, 
a  love  of  beauty  and  fun,  a  quick,  almost  eager  interest 
in  Nature,  an  alertness  and  sense  of  humour,  etc.,  which 
goes  back — undoubtedly — to  Grandmamma,  to  whom 
our  parents  owed  it  in  turn.  Then  I  could  put  in  any- 
thing we  have — and  my  visit  with  my  mother  to  Athlone. 
Then — with  some  traditions — the  little  French  nursery 
songs,  a  presumption  that  Grandmamma,  who  lived  with 
Pamela,  imbibed  it  from  her,  and  so  by  a  slenderer  hypo- 
thesis to  Madame  de  Genlis ;  with  her  love  of  nature, 
water-colours,  books  for  children  and  general  Rousseau- 
ism. 

To  sum  up  a  tradition,  handed  on  as  traditions  mainly 
are  by  mothers. — Your  affectionate  cousin, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

1  '  Edward  and  Pamela  Fitzgerald,'  by  Gerald  Campbell. 


TO  HIS  FATHER  355 

720 

To  his  Mother 

ST.  FAQAN'S  CASTLE, 
CARDIFF,  Vjth  August  1909. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — It  is  splendid  to  hear  such  good 
accounts  of  dear  Papa  after  his  journey.  I  am  taking  my 
week's  holiday,  prescribed  by  A.  J.  B.  and  am  out  all  day  ; 
riding  with  Phyllis  before  breakfast  and  playing  good 
lawn-tennis  with  Plymouth  and  the  two  boys. 

My  speech  was  a  success  at  Plymouth — *  the  town  Ply- 
mouth.'    I  will  send  you  the  '  Western  Morning  News  '- 
I  think  it  is  called — which  has  a  long,  but  not  very  good 
report  and  a  leading  article.     I  spoke  for  one  hour  and 
seven  minutes. 

Now  I  am  just  filling  myself  with  air  and  reading  Chaucer 
and  Pickwick.  We  are  in  for  a  very  long  fight  of  two  or 
three  years  in  Politics.  '  And  whether  it  is  worth  taking 
so  much  trouble  to  learn  so  little  as  the  charity  boy  said  of 
the  Alphabet '  I  do  not  know.  But  it  must  be  done,  and 
done  well.  And  there  is  no  need  to  trouble  further  than 
to  see  that  it  is  done  well,  and  stuck. 

I  shall  run  down  to  Clouds  often  in  the  Autumn.  Give 
all  my  love  to  dearest  Papa. — Your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

721 

To  his  Father 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

August  26th,  1909. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  was  just  on  the  point  of  pro- 
posing myself  to  Clouds  from  Monday  next  30th  to  Wed- 
nesday morning.  I  had  not  realised  that  Wednesday  was 
St.  Partridge's  day.  But  the  temptation,  now  that  I  am 
aware  of  it,  is  irresistible.  It  would  be  pedantry  to  return 
in  the  morning.  If  we  could  begin  to  shoot  fairly  early, 
say  about  10.30.  I  would  catch  an  afternoon  train  and 


356          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

go  straight  to  the  House  from  Waterloo  in  plenty  of  time 
for  an  all-night  sitting. 

I  am  '  holding  the  fort '  all  this  week  over  the  Irish 
Land  Bill  with  a  little  army  of  thirty  !  to  support  me, 
whilst  the  others,  Arthur,  A.  Chamberlain,  Prettyman, 
Lyttelton  etc.  are  resting  and  refreshing  themselves. 
So  I  shall  make  no  scruple  if  I  can  get  to  the  House  before 
dinner  on  Wednesday. 

Love  to  darling  Mamma. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

P.S. — The  Budget  does  not  come  on  before  Wednesday. 
On  Monday  and  Tuesday  we  have  '  Town  Planning '  of 
which  I  know  nothing. 

722 

To  his  Sister,  Madeline 

CLOUDS, 
SALISBURY,  31st  August  '09. 

MOST  DARLING  MANENAi, — I  loved  your  dear  letter 
which  reached  me  here  this  morning.  I  am  glad  that  you 
love  me.  It  is.  a  great  rest  to  feel  love  going  on,  when  one 
has  so  much  dull  work  to  do. 

I  spent  Sunday  at  St.  Giles  with  Cuckoo  :  such  a  funny 
mixture — and  delightful — of  people  :  Wilfrid  Blunt,  Poet ; 
George  Milner,  Cavalry  Colonel ;  Boissier,  in  Navy ;  a 
Chaplain  who  is  a  mystic  ;  Lilah  Ormonde,  and  Froudy  ! 
The  children  are  very  dear,  and  there  are  many  dogs  and 
a  cat.  I  rode  before  breakfast  yesterday,  then  walked  for 
two  hours  with  Aileen — now  Lady  Ardee — Dunraven's 
daughter.  Then  we  dragged  a  pool  and  took  out  61  trout 
and  put  them  in  the  lake.  Then  after  infinite  delays, 
Cuckoo,  Tony,  the  little  boy  and  girl  and  I  started  to  ride 
at  4  to  5,  instead  of  4.  Then  we  waited  for  the  children 
at  Hurley  Gap,  and  said  good-bye ;  then  Cuckoo's  hat 
wouldn't  work  in  the  wind,  and  had  to  be  taken  off ;  then 
we  lost  the  track  and  had  to  jump  ;  then  Cuckoo  dropped 
her  pearl-headed  hatpin ;  then  long  good-byes  at  the  crest 
of  the  Downs  ;  so  that  it  was  20  to  8  before  I  arrived  ! 


EXTRACT  FROM  A  LETTER  TO  HIS  WIFE      357 

I  am  much  interested  in  your  Ramsgatc  house  and  shall 
try  to  get  there. 

All  love  to  you,  darling. — Your  devoted  brother, 

GEORGE. 
P.S. — Papa  is  MUCH  better. 

723 

Extract  from  a  letter  to  his  Wife 

STAN  WAY, 
WINCHCOMBE,  September  23rd,  1909. 

It  has,  of  course,  been  impossible  for  me  to  write  during 
manoeuvres.  But  I  got  your  letters.  I  never  have  had 
so  much  joy  and  interest  and  pleasure.  To  you  I  can  say 
that  the  great  point  for  me  was  to  be  in  Percy's  life  for 
four  days.  I  wish  I  could  explain.  But  it  almost  frightens 
me  to  write  even  to  you  of  my  supreme  joy  in  seeing  him 
realise  and  eclipse  all  my  own  dreams  when  I  was  his  age. 
It  seems  silly,  and  is  silly,  to  write  or  speak  about  any- 
thing of  one's  own  that  is  obviously  all  one  could  wish  and 
far  beyond  one's  wildest  hopes. 

So, — just  to  indicate — The  1st  Brigade  of  the  1st.— 
Aldershot — Division  is  the  flower  of  our  Army.  Arthur 
Henniker — in  the  Coldstream  with  me — commands  it. 
The  Brigade  has  four  battalions — Coldstream,  Grenadierc, 
West  York,  and  S.  Wales  Borderers.  Billy  Lambton 
commands  my  old  Coldstream  battalion  and  that  is,  by 
universal  consent,  the  best  of  the  four  battalions,  in  the 
best  Brigade. 

But,  besides  the  four  battalions,  there  are  three  batteries 
of  Artillery  ;  two  companies  of  Mounted  Infantry  ;  scouts  ; 
transport  of  1st  and  2nd  line.  Now  Percy  knows  and 
is  loved  and  trusted  by  everyone  from  the  Brigadier, 
Brigade  Major,  four  Battalion  Commanders,  down  to  the 
Mounted  Infantry  and  the  men  who  drive  the  Transport 
waggons.  He  is  the  winged  mercury  of  the  whole  show. 
The  Brigade  Major,  Gathorne  Hardy—said  by  all  to  be 
the  best  young  Staff  Officer — volunteered  to  me  on  the 
first  day  that  Percy  was  the  best  Aide-de-Camp  he  had 


358 

ever  known.  And  I  saw  it  all.  He  is  as  quick  as  light- 
ning and  quite  calm  always.  Understands  in  a  moment, 
is  off  like  a  flash,  explains  quietly,  and  makes  everyone 
understand  from  Colonels  down  to  Transport  drivers. 
And  also  arranged  and  ran  all  our  messing.  He  never 
tires  and  after  all  the  marching  and  fighting,  waits  at 
table,  like  the  Squire  in  Chaucer,  on  the  officers  attached 
to  the  Head  Quarter  Staff ;  and  cracks  his  little  jokes,  and 
leaves  his  food  to  look  after  the  last  waggon.  And  comes 
back  all  smiles  to  eat  the  last  bit  of  cold  meat  and  sleep 
in  his  boots  and  spurs. 

They  all  love  him.  And  all  the  swells  only  want  him 
to  go  on,  and  up.  And  no  one  is  jealous  of  him.  He  looks 
the  part,  too.  On  Tuesday — our  hardest  day — he  rode 
both  his  horses  to  a  stand  and  then  got  on  mine,  Cardinal, 
and  flashed  all  over  the  country,  jumping  brooks  and 
rails  to  extricate  our  two  Brigades,  that  were  out-numbered 
and  crumpled  up.  That  was  a  grand  day.  I  went  into 
the  attack  with  my  old  battalion,  and  before  I  knew  where 
I  was — there  I  found  myself — '  in  the  old  prank  ' — I  rode 
out  and  spotted  a  flank  attack  and  got  two  companies 
and  the  maxim  on  it.  When — owing  to  the  2nd  brigade 
wavering,  the  1st  was  left,  I  admired  Billy  Lambton's 
coolness  and  skill.  But  we  were  out-numbered  by  3  to  1. 
We  were  crushed  back  into  a  village  called  Deanfield. 
We  scraped  up  three  companies  of  Grenadiers  and  shoved 
them  in  at  the  critical  moment.  But  we  were  almost 
surrounded.  Billy  asked  me  to  get  a  message  to  Sutton 
who  had  four  companies  further  back.  I  nearly  got  shot 
by  one  of  our  own  guns !  Such  was  the  pandemonuim. 
But  I  got  back,  dismounted  of  course,  borrowed  a  bicycle 
for  some  way,  and  then  by  running  and  boring  through 
the  fences,  got  the  message  through.  We  got  three 
battalions  out  of  the  four  into  a  splendid  second  position 
and  staved  off  the  disaster,  and  thus  by  '  Containing ' — 
as  the  experts  say — the  superior  force  against  us,  pre- 
vented the  enemy  from  getting  back  across  the  Isis  in 
tune.  So  our  left  division— the  other  three  Brigades — 
carried  Farringdon. 


EXTRACT  FROM  A  LETTER  TO  HIS  WIFE      359 

But  all  this  is  gibberish  unless  I  explained  the  whole 
of  the  strategy  and  tactics — which  is  out  of  the  question. 

Taking  it  by  the  days,  I  left  here  at  three  o'clock  on 
Sunday  with  Billy  Lambton  and  Percy.  We  joined  the 
1st  brigade  at  the  outskirts  of  Cheltenham.  We  were  to 
march  at  4  a.m.  So  we  packed  everything  and  slept  on 
the  ground.  We  got  up  at  three,  breakfasted  at  3-15, 
marshalled  the  column,  with  advance,  flank,  and  rear 
guards  and  stepped  out  as  the  clocks  of  Cheltenham 
struck  4.  We  had  a  long  anxious  flank  march.  But, 
thanks  to  the  splendid  work  of  the  Household  Cavalry 
Brigade  we  did  our  28  miles — far  more  for  the  flank  - 
guard  and  others  who  had  to  go  back  with  guns  to  repell 
attacks  on  our  rear.  Yet,  when  \ve  halted  at  dusk,  the 
men  swung  in  singing.  The  marching  of  the  Infantry 
has  been  the  chief  feature.  Everyone  and  especially  the 
French  officers  talk  of  nothing  else. 

Just  as  we  had  settled  to  cold  pies  and  dinner  for  the 
men  there  was  a  slight  night  attack.  But  it  came  to 
nothing.  We  slept  in  a  lovely  orchard.  I  lay  on  the 
ground  next  Perf  and  watched  the  stars  and  slept  and 
woke  feeling  twenty  years  younger.  Then,  Tuesday, 
came  our  hard  fight  all  day  and  retirement — whilst  our 
2nd  division  carried  Faringdon  on  the  other  side  of  the 
river. 

On  the  third  day — as  our  Brigade  was  in  reserve — I  put 
on  a  '  neutral '  badge — and  rode  all  over  the  battle  field 
with  Ivor  Maxie  who  was  umpiring.  It  was  most  inter- 
esting. The  battle-front  was  only  four  miles  long.  On 
Tuesday,  the  battle  was  ten  miles  long.  I  rode  every- 
where, and  had  interesting  conversations  with  Duke  of 
Connaught,  Lord  Roberts,  and  Repington,  the  '  Times ' 
correspondent.  At  the  end  I  went  back  to  see  my  brigade 
deliver  the  final  attack.  It  was  superb. 

But  to  cut  a  long  story  short,  the  moral  of  it  all  was  put 
as  only  the  French  can  put  things,  by  a  French  General, 
at  Dinner  with  our  Divisional  General  Grierson.  (I  ought 
to  say  that  the  last  attack  was  by  three  Brigades  of  which 
ours  was  one — though  the  best.) 


360          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

The  French  General  said,  *  Your  attack  was  excellent, 
like  this  glass  of  port  (holding  it  up  in  his  hand) — it  only 
wants  refilling.  What  is  one  glass  of  port  ?  You  want 
three  or  four.' 

The  keen  interest  of  the  French  officers  in  our  capacity 
is  a  significant  symptom.  They  all  believe  that  Germany 
will  attack  us  within  three  years. 

And  now  Good-night.  I  have  forgotten  all  about 
Politics  and  shall  resume  them  with  a  fresh  mind  and 
exuberant  vitality. 

This  is  a  ridiculous  letter.  For  it  is  impossible  to 
explain  my  pleasure  without  inflicting  a  lecture  on  strategy 
and  tactics  etc.,  etc.  And  besides,  all  that — there  were 
the  dawns  and  sunsets,  the  lovely  English  land,  the  old 
churches,  the  hedge-row  elms,  the  stubble  fields,  Kelms- 
cote,  the  country-folk — and  through  all  that  mellow  peace 
— the  humming  maze  of  men,  and  horses,  and  bicycles, 
and  guns  and  field-telegraphs  and  heliographs  and  sig- 
nalling, and  the  healthy  scent  of  sweat  and  energy  directed 
by  cool  intellect. 


724 
To  Philip  Hanson 


35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

30.xi.09. 


MY  DEAR  P.  H., — If  you  were  here  you  would  send  me 
to  bed.  As  you  are  not  here  I  shall  '  compromise '  with 
a  line,  to  say  that  you  must  come  to  Saighton  before 
Christmas.  I  should  like  to  sit  up  and  write  fully  on  the 
problems  you  unfold.  But  I  mustn't  to-night,  i.e.  the 
Resolution. 

I  was  deeply  grieved  for  Lady  Thomson  and  am  going 
to  write  to  her  myself;  but  not  until  the  rush  is  over. 
That  is  not  because  I  flinch  from  writing  such  letters.  I 
have  been  very  close  to  great  sorrow  during  the  last  year. 
It  is  because  it  is  not  natural  to  say  these  things  at  all, 
unless  one  can  give  oneself  for  an  hour  to  the  friend  who 
has  suffered.  Just  now  I  am  *  in  the  "  whirl "  but  not 
of  it.' 


TO  PHILIP  HANSON  361 

I  made  a  good  speech  for  Professor  Hewins  near  Bradford 
on  the  18th ;  a  speech  which  disappointed  me,  rather 
badly,  for  Mark  Sykes,  on  the  20th  ;  a  good  speech — but 
not  quite  the  focus — at  Leith  on  Friday  26th.  Then  I 
thought  I  was  bowled  out.  I  woke  at  4  a.m.  with  a 
raging  feverish  cold.  But  I  had  to  start  again  to  get 
South  for  a  speech  at  Cheltenham  yesterday,  29th.  And 
just  for  once  again — I  suppose  because  I  was  too  seedy 
to  worry — I  did  the  trick.  Last  night  I  made  one  of  the 
five  speeches  of  my  life.  I  think  it  was  as  good  as  the 
one  I  made  at  Cardiff  on  '  the  just  and  necessary  war ' 
which  you  liked  in  1900.  Why  I  can  only  do  this  when  I 
am  ill,  I  do  not  know.  But  although  I  have  still  a  heavy 
catarrh  and  have  to  speak  to-morrow  and  Friday  and 
Tuesday  next — it  has  bucked  me  up. 

After  Driffield  on  the  20th  I  honestly  felt  in  my  heart 
that  this  platform  business  was  not  my  game.  After  last 
night  I  feel — as  honestly — that  if  it  comes  to  me,  like  that, 
once  in  fifty  times,  I  still  ought  to  go  on. 

I  was  so  interested  in  the  psychology  of  the  event,  that, 
before  I  went  to  sleep,  I  counted  up  my  speeches  this 
year.  I  found  that  apart  from  the  House,  and  even  such 
affairs  as  six  nights  running  (a  whole  week)  of  occasional 
speeches  at  Dover,  I  had  made  21  speeches  in  the  country 
since  1st  February.  Now  why,  my  dear  P.  H.,  should 
the  21st  be  so  much  better  than  all  the  other  20  ? 
Was  it  the  cold  in  my  head  ?  Was  it  that  the  archi- 
tecture of  the  Town  Hall  was  good  and  the  lighting 
perfect  ?  Was  it  that  I  had  a  simple  structure  which 
embraced  and  defined  the  whole  situation  ?  Or  was  it 
a  resultant  from  all  these  ?  Or  was  it  just  the  luck  of 
the  Devil  ? 

I  do  not  know  and  I  do  not  care.  But  the  happy  chance 
has  braced  me. 

I  should  like  to  enter  into  some  questions  on  Lloyd 
George's  Estimates. 

(i)  *  Is  it  a  trick  ? '  I  think  so,  or,  rather,  I  believe  that 
Lloyd  George  does  not  know,  and  will  not  learn,  what  his 
experts  could  tell  him. 


362          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

(ii)  Have  I  a  good  answer  ?  See  my  letter  to  '  Times  ' 
of  26th. 

I  cannot  accuse  him  of  cheating  if  he  says — as  he  does — 
that  the  paper  of  22  October  and  the  paper  of  November  5 
deal  with  separate  matters.  I  can  only  say — as  1  have — 
that  no  distinction  is  drawn,  and  note — as  I  have  for  the 
next  round — that  he  has  made  an  egregious  blunder  over 
'  Stamps.'  I  am  reserving  this  for  his  reply.  But  he 
has  not  replied. 

(iii)  Was  I  mistaken  ?     I  think  not. 

What  I  believe  to  have  happened  is  this  : — Lloyd  George 
begged  his  experts  to  show  increases  in  future  years  from 
(a)  Land  Value  Duties,  (b)  Excise.  They  refused.  But 
they  made  the  most  of  everything  on  October  22. 

On  November  5  they  gave  a  sober  '  official '  estimate. 

I  believe,  further,  that  there  would  be — apart  from 
action  of  the  Lords — a  bad  realised  deficit  next  March  of 
from  £3,000,000  to  £6,000,000,  and  perhaps  more. 

I  believe  that  the  policy  of  the  Government  is  dictated 
by  the  desire  to  attribute  this  deficit  to  the  action  of  the 
Lords  instead  of  to  the  financial  rottenness  of  the  Budget. 

These  are  mere  amateur  speculations.  But  they  are 
not  shots  in  the  dark. 

Some  things  are  ascertained  or  certain,  e.g. 

(a)  Death  Duties.     Charles  Morrison  cannot  die  twice  in 
one  year. 

(b)  Stamps.     Lloyd  George  is  wrong  in  saying  that  the 
existing  duties  give  an  increase  of  £450,000.     They  give 
an  increase  of  £250,000.     (N.B. — That  is  held  in  reserve.) 

(c)  Income  Tax  yielded  f  of  a  £  million  less  in  first  6 
months  of  this  year ;   in  spite  of  extra  2d.     The  bulk,  no 
doubt,  comes  in  at  the  end  of  the  Financial  year.     But 
the  2d.  has  been  taken  off  all  dividend  warrants  and  the 
causes  which  effect  the  decrease  are  operating  more  widely 
as  time  goes  on. 

(d)  Much  less  tobacco  is  being  smoked. 

Yet  he  hopes  and  declares  qua  (c)  and  (d)  that  there 
will  be  no  decrease  below  estimates  on  Income  Tax  or 
Tobacco. 


TO  PHILIP  HANSON  363 

He  has  only  'owned  up'  to  £1,300,000  on  spirits,  because 
that  enabled  him  to  gush  about  Temperance. 

Celtic  Electioneering  is  his  game. 

Meanwhile  much  else  is  happening.  The  odds  against 
our  whining  were  10  to  1  two  months  ago.  They  are  now 
even  money  in  the  City.  As  a  result  people  are  importing 
for  all  they  are  worth  to  anticipate  the  Tariff.  That  is  a 
hard  nut  for  us  to  crack. 

In  conclusion,  I  expect  that  Asquith's  Constitutional 
Agitation,  to  begin  on  Thursday,  will  be  lost  in  (1st)  the 
right  of  the  Electorate  to  choose  between  the  Budget  and 
Tariff  Reform  before  being  committed  to  either,  and  (2) 
practical  concern  over  (a)  realised  deficit ;  (b)  collapse  of 
Income  Tax,  and  further  collapse  of  Excise  ;  (c)  further 
flight  of  Capital ;  (d)  the  next  Naval  panic  ;  (e)  disloca- 
tion of  pure  Finance  (private,  not  Exchequer) ;  (f )  huge 
Imports  creating  more  unemployment. 

Last  Word — on  (f)  there  is  a  point,  viz. :  as  things  are 
many  who  receive  imports  state  the  value  at  far  below 
the  real  cost. 

It  is  not  an  exaggeration  to  say  that  the  atrocities  of 
modern  architecture  are  due  to  importing  all  our  stone 
'  decoration  '  from  abroad  at  less  than  ^  of  its  cost  by  the 
humblest  monumental  mason. 

Nor  is  it  an  exaggeration  to  say  that  the  cost — £  of  our 
lowest  cost  of  production — is  habitually  under-stated  at 
the  Customs. 

But  enough,  enough,  and  more  than  enough. 

The  Constitutional  question  pales  before  the  realities. 
Either  Government  will  have  a  bad  time  next  year. — 
Yours  ever,  G.  W. 

725 

To  Philip  Hanson 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

6.xii.09. 

MY  DEAR  P.  H., — Do  make  a  point  of  coming  on  the 
18th — or  17th  if  you  can.  I  fear  I  shall  have  to  go  to 


364          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

Dover  on  the  20th.     But,  if  you  come  before  then,  we 
could  travel  up  together. 

I  said  in  Yorkshire  that  there  would  be  a  deficit  of 
£6,000,000.  I  am,  therefore,  interested  to  see  that  the 
'  Financial  Times  '  of  3rd  inst.  says  ditto,  and  even  speaks 
of  £7,000,000. 

I  had  a  good  meeting  at  the  Opera  House,  Tunbridge 
Wells,  on  Friday,  with  an  overflow  of  900  in  the  Great 
Hall.  Lloyd  George  and  Winston  have — I  believe — 
manoeuvred  for  position.  But,  so  far,  we  are  going  strong. 
The  public  sees  the  manreuvring  and  is  suspicious  of  those 
two  gentlemen. 

The  only  sensible  plan  I  have  ever  seen  for  reforming 
the  House  of  Lords  is,  I  fear,  outside  the  range  of  our 
old  friend,  practical  Politics.  It  comes  from  Horatio 
Bottomley  !  He  suggests  that  the  H.  of  C.  and  H.  of  L. 
should  each  elect  one  half  of  the  Second  Chamber  for  the 
duration  of  a  Parliament. 

The  root  of  the  matter  is  that  no  Second  Chamber, 
however  composed,  would  pass  the  kind  of  Bill  that  a 
modern  Liberal  Government  brings  in,  i.e.  a  Bill  to  please 
one  relatively  small  minority — e.g.  Licensing  Bill,  which 
is  passed  through  the  H.  of  C.  by  other  log-rolling  minorities 
expectant  of  their  turn.  If  the  Liberal  Party  cannot 
exist  without  that,  then  either  there  can  be  no  Liberal 
Party,  or  no  Second  Chamber;  and  if  the  Liberal  Party 
drive  the  country  into  that  choice,  the  country  will — I 
think — prefer  a  Second  Chamber  to  the  Liberal  Party. 
That  is  a  matter  of  opinion.  I  am  not  certain  and  no 
one  can  be.  But  that — for  what  it  is  worth — is  my  view  ; 
and  the  view  of  some  Liberals. — Yours  ever,  G.  W. 

726 

To  his  Father 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  December  llth,  1909. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — It  is  long  since  I  have  written  to 
you,  because  I  have  been  in  the  thick  of  the  fight  for  a 


TO  HIS  FATHER  365 

good  while.  Besides  ten  nights  at  Dover,  I  have  spoken 
to  big  audiences  at  Idle  (for  Professor  Henins)  and  Drif- 
field  in  Yorkshire,  at  Leith  (which  means  Edinburgh), 
Cheltenham,  Tunbridge  Wells,  Constitutional  Club,  London, 
on  Tuesday,  and  to  a  Cheshire  Conference  on  Wednesday. 

We  are  doing  well.  I  do  not  quite  like  Arthur's  Mani- 
festo to-day.  I  can  explain  what  I  mean  by  one  example. 
He  says,  *  If  we  win,  we  shall  do  a  great  deal.  If  we  fail 
(but  I  do  not  think  we  shall  fail)  the  loss  will  be  appalling.' 
That  is  not  a  verbatim  quotation.  But  it  is  the  order  in 
which  he  states  that  part  of  his  Manifesto,  parenthesis  and 
all.  We,  who  know  him,  realise  that  he  has  gone  a  long 
way  to  promise  victory  and  rich  fruits  of  victory.  But 
those  who  do  not  know  him  cannot  imagine  that  a  General, 
saying  '  once  more  into  the  breach,  dear  Friends,  once 
more,'  would  put  it  in  that  way.  They  all,  anybody  but 
Arthur,  would  turn  the  phrases  about.  Anyone  else  in 
his  position  would  say,  '  If  we  fail,  the  loss  is  irreparable. 
But,  as  we  are  going  to  win,  let  me  point  out  how  great 
the  reward  of  victory  will  be.' 

I  am  surprised  at  the  progress  we  have  made  in  the  last 
eight  weeks.  I  cannot  get  excited  over  it,  because  I  am 
working  so  hard,  like  a  man  rowing  in  an  eight-oar,  or 
riding  a  pulling  horse  in  a  steeple-chase.  I  am  too  intent 
to  fret  over  victory  or  defeat.  But,  for  all  that,  I  feel 
the  growing  enthusiasm  round  me. 

I  hardly  like  to  tell  you  that  we  have  a  chance  of  winning. 
I  will  bnly  say  that,  if  we  don't  win  this  time,  we  shall 
knock  them  out  within  two  years.  But  many  steady- 
going  people  now  think  we  may  win.  If  we  do,  the  greatest 
joy  of  it  all  to  me — far  the  greatest  joy  of  it — will  be 
that  you  will  have  seen  your  own  wisdom  justified,  and 
that  you  will  receive  the  amends  of  a  life  spent  in  waiting. 
If  we  win  I  shall  insist  on  a  public  recognition  of  the 
veterans  of  '  Fair  Trade.'  I  have  always  remembered 
what  you  said  at  '  44  '  x  soon  after  Joe's  first  speech,  six 
years  ago,  in  1903.  You  have  not  been  able  to  follow  my 
adaptations  to  Arthur's  sinuous  leading.  But  now  all  is 

1  44  Belgrave  Square. 


366          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

plain.  The  battle  is  pitched.  We  have  won  the  South, 
and  the  Midlands.  We  are  going  to  win  a  little  more 
than  we  hoped  in  Scotland,  Northumberland  and  Durham. 

The  belt  of  territory  in  which  the  difference  between 
Victory  and  Defeat  will  be  decided  is  Lancashire  and 
Cheshire  on  the  West,  and  Yorkshire  on  the  East.  That 
is  Sarah  Battle's  green  board,  and  I  'm  not  '  unbending  ' 
over  it. 

After  my  speech  at  the  Constitutional  Club  on  Tuesday 
I  came  here,  and  on  Wednesday  gave  a  dinner  at  7.30  to 
those  who  count  in  these  parts.  I  '  wound  them  up  ' 
and  we  are  going  to  have  a  big  campaign,  first  at  Chester, 
and  then  on  the  Cheshire  fringe  of  Lancashire.  I  speak 
at  Wolverhampton  on  Wednesday,  15th. 

Love  to  darling  Mamma. — Your  devoted  son, 

GEORGE. 

P.S. — Garvin — who  writes  in  *  The  Observer ' — was  next 
me  when  I  spoke  at  the  Constitutional  Club.  He  said 
that  he  had  heard  nothing  like  it  since  Joe  at  Newport 
five  years  ago.  Everybody  is  angry  with  the  Press  for 
reporting  Winston  Churchill  at  length  and  boycotting  us. 
It  does  not  matter.  We  are  getting  the  people  on  our 
side. 

727 
To  his  Sister,  Pamela 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  13th  December  1909. 

MOST  DARLING  PAMELA,1 — I  was  thinking  of  you 
vividly  yesterday  and  to-day.  So  I  was  not  surprised 
to  find  a  letter  to-night,  mysteriously,  at  10.30  p.m.,  and 
apart  from  known  deliveries  of  the  Post-Master  General. 
Certainly  there  was  no  letter  at  8  p.m.,  for  I  had  cleared 
the  decks  of  all  correspondence,  before  going  into  action 
on  a  big  speech  to-morrow.  I  felt  vividly  that  I  had  not 

1  This  letter  is  in  answer  to  one  from  his  sister  in  which  she  told  him  that  her 
little  boy  had  expressed  a  wish  that  Death  should  not  be  called '  Death ' ;  he 
said  he  would  not  mind  it  so  much  if  it  were  called  '  Hig. ' 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  PAMELA  367 

touched  you  for  long.    And  that,  of  course,   was  you 
touching  me. 

It  is  called  Hig.  And,  let  me  add,  with  people  like 
David  and  me,  never  talk  of  the  c  Grave.'  We  say 
*  Poobles.'  In  the  Hymnal  we  shall  edit,  you  will  read 

O  Hig,  where  is  thy  sting  ? 
Where 's  Poobles'  victory  ? 

We  know  Hig  and  Poobles,  and  don't  worry  over  them. 

I  dislike  Joseph.  I  hate  the  name  and  I  hate  the  thing, 
as  Mr.  Gladstone  used  to  say  of  Coercion.  The  name  has 
in  these  days  been  redeemed  by  the  purpose  and  tragedy 
of  Chamberlain's  life  and,  more  so,  by  the  dim  public  recog- 
nition of  both.  But  the  original  Joseph  is  tiresome  with 
his  coat  of  many  colours,  and  tin  cup  in  the  corn  sacks, 
and — as  I  think — congenital  hesitation  over  all  problems, 
including  '  la  pauvre  Madame  Potiphar.'  He  was  a  smug 
fellow. 

But  when  David  conies  '  to  wearing  your  soul  instead 
of  your  body,'  he  dives  deep  with  his  little  fingers  into 
green  wounds.  It  is  the  frayed  souls  for  whom  forgive- 
ness is  begged  by  Christ.  The  spotted  souls  are  admitted 
into  Heaven  as  curiosities,  like  cameleopards.  But  the 
frayed  souls  are  treasured  there,  like  the  sere  manuscripts 
of  Poets,  and  dinted  armour,  and  old  gold  rings  worn  to 
a  thread  in  the  sacraments  of  private  tragedies  and  signet 
messages  that  spelt  the  life  and  death  of  nations. 

And  now  for  my  dear  little  Clare.  I  long  to  see  her. 
Let  her  stop  here  18th  to  20th.  I  must  to  Dover  on  the 
20th.  But  that  Saturday  to  Monday  she  would  find  here 
Sibell,  Perf,  self,  Mahaffy  and  Hanson.  We  should  be 
talking  about  Greek  Influence  and  Hunting.  It  is  my 
only  lull  in  this  whirlpool  of  Politics.  Perhaps — in  spite 
of  all  you  say — she  might  return  to  hunt  herself  when  the 
battle  is  over  in  the  last  week  of  January  or  first  week  of 
February.  But  she  would  like  that  Sunday  of  books,  and 
horses  to  feed  (8  lovely  hunters)  and  dear  dogs.  Mahaffy's 
last  book  on  Greek  Influence  is  by  far  the  best  thing  he 
has  done  and  a  good  book  for  Clare — or  you — or  me — to 


368          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

read.  It  is  so  good  and  cool !  Just  a  perfect  pool  to 
bathe  in,  with  none  of  the  mud  of  forest  pools  and  none  of 
the  clamour  of  the  ocean.  It  has  only  the  seclusion  of 
woodland  haunts  and  the  salt  freshness  of  the  main.  So 
send  little  Clare  here  on  Saturday.  Even  if  I  have  to 
work  many  hours,  she  will  grasp  the  place  and  come  back 
to  read  and  hunt  and  be  a  little  dear  one  in  my  life.  I 
have  a  gap  for  her  to  fill.  I  have  been  speaking  a  great 
deal  and  have  to  speak  very  often.  But  to-day  I  had  two 
hunts  of  1  hour  and  1|  hours  with  Bendor  and  Perf.  I 
loved  it.  I  sweated  through  everything  and  forgot 
Tariff  Reform,  and  my  flesh  was  made  new  like  the  flesh 
of  a  little  child. — Your  devoted  brother,  GEORGE. 


728 
To  his  Mother  and  Father 

SAIGHTON,  December  23rd,  1909. 
MOST    DARLING    MAMMA,    AND    DEAREST    PAPA, 1   must 

send  you  one  line  of  love  to  wish  you  both  a  Merry  Christmas 
and  happy  New  Year. 

I  have  been  working  hard  on  the  Platform  in  this  fight ; 
and  must  go  on  till  the  end. 

But  at  the  back  of  my  head  and  in  all  my  heart  I  am 
always  thinking  of  you. 

The  Latin  Epilogue  of  the  Westminster  Play  in  to-day's 
4  Times  '  pleased  me.  As  I  told  Chang — in  my  letter  to 
her — I  was  gratified  in  a  vain  way  by  finding  my  tag 
about  the  Dreadnoughts. 

'  We  want  eight  and  we  won't  wait  'in  that  Burlesque 
epitome  of  the  year  ;  as  thus  : — 

'  nos  poscimus  octo  naves,  nee  mora  sit ' 

'  We  demand  eight  ships,  and  let  there  be  no  delay.' 

But  the  last  couplet  might  well  be  inscribed  or  carved 
in  the  Hall  of  Clouds,  with  the  date  Xmas,  1909.  I  write 
it  longways  on  the  next  page,  with  a  free  rendering. 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  369 

XMAS  1909 

Interea,  quicquid  mutato  erit  ordine  rerum 

Mutatum,  iiobis  fioreat  alma  domus. 
Meanwhile,  whate'er  of  change  shall  be  in  all  established 

things 
For  us  may  our  dear  family  renew  eternal  springs. 

Your  most  loving  and  devoted  son,  GEORGE. 

P.S. — Or  would  you  prefer  in  the  second  line : 
f  May  this  dear  house  revive  for  us  perpetual  flourishings ! ' 

729 
To  his  Mother 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  Christmas,  1909. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  am  so  delighted  to  hear 
that  dearest  Papa  is  better.  And  I  am  amused  by  your 
letter  asking  for  tips  on  a  Hunt  Breakfast.  The  Christmas 
sideboard,  somewhat  fortified,  as  for  example  cold  Turkey, 
a  Ham,  a  large  game,  or  meat,  pie,  and  developed  into 
sandwiches  and  cake,  with  drinks,  Port  and  Cherry  Brandy, 
is  all  and  more  than  enough.  Some  of  the  farmers  are 
hungry  and,  if  they  come  from  far,  return  for  a  back- 
hander at  luncheon  about  2.30  if  there  has  been  sport  in 
the  morning  which  brings  the  hounds  back  to  Clouds. 
Percy  is  taking  two  beautiful  horses,  *  C.  B.'  and  '  Admira- 
tion,' the  pride  of  his  stud.  I  wish  I  could  come,  but  it  is 
not  possible.  On  Tuesday  28th  I  am  the  speaker  at  a 
big  Demonstration  in  the  Skating-Rink  at  Chester  with 
Benny  in  the  Chair ;  and  on  Thursday  again  at  Hale,  in 
the  Altrincham  Division,  near  the  boundary  of  Cheshire 
and  Lancashire.  The  belt  across  England  of  Lancashire 
and  Cheshire  on  the  West,  and  Yorks  on  the  East,  is  the 
debatable  land  where  Victory  or  Defeat  will  be  decided. 
We  shall  win  in  London  and  the  South,  *  it  is  here  that  the 
battle  is  fought.'  And,  more  by  token,  if  I  was  not 
speaking  in  Cheshire  I  should  be  speaking  somewhere  else. 

VOL.  II.  2  A 


370          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

Now  that  my  troubles  are  over  I  will  tell  you  what  a 
funny  Christmas  day  I  have  had.  At  9.30  I  started  in  a 
taxi  to  Chester  and  had  a  big  molar  tooth  with  three  fangs 
hauled  out  under  laughing  gas.  After  that  I  slept  most 
of  the  morning,  ate  as  I  have  not  eaten  for  a  week  and 
slept  the  whole  afternoon.  The  relief  is  beyond  words. 
There  was  a  chronic  abscess  at  the  roots  of  the  fangs  and 
I  have  not  slept  or  eaten  for  pain  since  last  Sunday.  I 
travelled  with  that  to  Dover  last  Monday,  spoke  one  hour 
and  twenty  minutes,  made  two  speeches  Tuesday  and 
two  Wednesday,  travelled  back  Thursday,  went  to 
Dentist  three  times  at  Dover,  once  in  London  on  way 
back  and  again  yesterday  at  Chester.  They  would  not 
pull  it  out.  The  modern  Dentist,  thinking  of  his  profes- 
sional pride  and  his  pocket,  never  will  pull  out  a  tooth. 
But  yesterday  evening  I  struck  and  insisted  on  the  thing 
being  done  at  10  o'clock  this  morning.  If  there  had  been 
a  free  fortnight  I  might  have  stuck  to  it  longer.  But 
with  speeches  this  week  and  continuously  after  it  was  an 
intolerable  prospect.  In  any  case  I  was  right,  for,  with 
an  abscess,  I  should  only  have  had  weeks  of  pain  and  pro- 
bably made  myself  ill.  Now  it  is  over. 

I  send  the  little  quotation  from  the  Westminster 
Epilogue.  You  can  stick  it  in  the  book  as  an  outward 
sign  of  my  inward  presence  with  you  and  dearest  Papa. 
It  is  strange  to  think  that  by  the  end  of  January  we  shall 
know  whether  we  are  men  or  mice.  Then,  whatever  may 
have  happened,  I  shall  be  able  to  come  and  see  you  and 
dearest  Papa.  The  election  will  be  as  great  a  relief  to 
the  country  as  having  my  tooth  out  is  to  me.  May  the 
issues  be  as  happy,  for  this  Budget  is  an  abscess  gnawing 
away  at  the  nerves  of  England. 

You  must  make  Percy  parade  on  '  Admiration '  so  that 
Papa  can  see  him  from  a  window.  He  makes  a  good 
picture  and  is  the  most  delightful  companion  for  me  when- 
ever I  get  an  odd  day's  hunting.  We  had  some  good 
rides  together  a  week  ago.  He  is  quite  the  '  Star  '  of  the 
hunt  here,  and  leaves  his  Papa  behind.  All  love  to  dearest 
Papa  and  you. — Your  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  371 

730 

To  his  Mother 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  January  2nd,  1910. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — Just  a  line  to  say  that  the 
two  Cheshire  meetings  were  successful.  After  them  on 
Friday  and  yesterday  I  had  two  excellent  days  hunting 
with  Percy  and  Benny  and  sweated  out  all  the  remains 
of  tooth-ache  and  cold. 

I  have  just  sorted  my  books  and  papers  for  Dover  after 
writing  my  address  to  the  Electors.  So  here  we  are 
4  swept  and  garnished  '  and  ready  for  the  seven  devils. 
S.  S.  and  I  go  to  the  Burlington  Hotel,  Dover,  to-morrow. 
— Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

731 

To  his  Mother 

HOTEL  BURLINGTON, 
DOVER,  January  9th,  1910. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — As  a  Sunday  night  4  treat '  I 
will  write  to  you  and  dearest  Papa  a  little  line  of  love  and 
news.  It  is  a  treat  not  to  be  speaking  ! 

The  general  result  of  the  whole  battle  interests  me  more 
than  my  own  little  tactical  combat  here. 

Of  the  whole  result  I  have  said  for  some  time  that  we 
should  win  130  seats.  But  now  I  am  more  sanguine. 
At  the  same  time  we  must  admit  that  the  4  experts  ' 
were  never  more  at  variance.  As  one  man  says  in  to-day's 
'  Observer '  from  a  majority  of  200  for  the  government,  to 
a  majority  of  200  for  the  opposition,  anything  is  possible. 

My  problem  here  is  that,  last  time,  in  1906,  I  fought  a 
'  carpet-bagger  '  who  annoyed  everybody.  So  that  many 
liberals  abstained  and  some,  I  believe,  voted  for  me. 
There  also  was  a  general  feeling  in  the  Town  that  they 
wanted  to  '  back '  me  after  my  resignation  and  '  know 
the  reason  why,'  etc. 


372          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

This  time  my  opponent  is  a  very  good  fellow,  Montague 
Bradley,  about  my  age,  Colonel  of  the  Territorial  Artillery, 
Chairman  of  the  Liberal  Party,  son  of  the  old  Chairman, 
solicitor  to  half  the  undertakings  in  the  place,  and  a  rela- 
tion by  blood  or  marriage  of  all  the  Liberal  Party,  also  a 
nonconformist  and  benefactor  of  Chapels,  etc. 

We  get  little  help  from  our  three  conservative  papers, 
whose  only  idea  of  contest  is  to  ask  me  for  money. 

On  the  other  hand,  we  have  capital  meetings.  I  spoke 
four  nights  last  week  and  also  to  three  open-air  meetings, 
the  Railway  Works,  Iron  Works,  and  Brewery.  I  speak 
all  five  nights  next  week,  and  in  the  daytime,  to  Harbour 
Works,  Paper  Mills,  and  the  *  Shore  Force,'  that  is  the 
porters  who  handle  the  continental  goods. 

S.  S.  is  working  like  a  beaver.  Also  Miss  King  is  can- 
vassing, and  Jenny,  SibelPs  maid,  and  Arthur,  my  valet. 

He  came  in  flushed  with  triumph  the  day  before  yester- 
day, saying,  '  I  Ve  got  one  * — as  if  he  had  caught  a  fish. 
His  method  is  not  to  argue,  to  shew  the  picture  of  the 
Graves  in  the  Transvaal,  with  the  names  of  dear  Wiltie 1 
and  David  Airlie  on  them. 

Our  old  Friends  are  all  to  the  front.  There  are  specially 
Mrs.  Rhodes  and  '  Snowball,'  the  hostess  of  a  rather  rowdy 
public -house  and  a  costermonger,  who  have  a  special 
devotion  to  Sibell  and  wring  our  hands  before  and  after 
the  meetings.  I  only  '  claim '  to  win  by  700.  But  I 
shall  do  better,  I  hope.  The  *  mob  '  and  the  '  children  ' 
are  fond  of  us. 

Talking  of  my  opponent,  I  wonder  if  he  is  a  relation  of 
the  Bradley  who  taught  me  Latin  in  the  little  room  next 
the  drawing-room  at  Deal  Castle  ? 

I  wanted  a  rest  to-day.  So  we  went  off  to  Deal,  darling, 
in  a  taxi.  I  rather  dreaded  it.  For  it  is  36  years  since  I 
was  there.  They  have  built  up  to  the  Castle.  But  it  is 
there  untouched  and  unspoilt.  The  bridge,  the  dint  in 
the  door  from  Cromwell's  cannon-ball,  the  archway  which 
you  painted,  the  bastions,  the  guns,  the  prints  of  sailors, 
the  fig-trees  in  the  moat. 

1  Marquis  of  Winchester. 


TO  HIS  FATHER  373 

I  was  flooded  with  memories  of  the  boat  the  old  sailor 
made  for  me,  cricket  beyond  the  wooden  bridge,  seats 
with  publicfc  on  them,  and  the  K  painted  over  to  suit 
modern  spelling,  the  hard-bake  shop,  the  sports  of  the 
Marines  at  the  barracks,  Sandown  Castle — blown  up  and 
lost  in  the  sea — Shellness — dear  old  Godfrey,  and  George 
Sumner,  and  Lord  Clanwilliam  himself  who  took  me  to 
Isel  after  my  first  term  at  Chittendens. 

I  went  into  your  bedroom,  and  there,  on  the  walls,  were 
the  photographs  of  Albert  Durer's  Knight  (Sintram)  and 
Titians.  They  carried  an  echo  from  those  days.  Nothing 
was  gone  except  the  broken  shell-bomb — in  the  drawing- 
room  ;  a  thing  like  a  shattered  bit  of  iron  piping.  I 
remember,  or  have  invented  as  children  will — that  its 
explosion  had  killed  Lord  Clanwilliam's  eldest  son.  Is 
that  memory  of  a  fact,  or  memory  of  a  child's  imagination  ? 

Now  I  am  four  years  older  than  at  the  last  Election 
and  twenty  years  older  than  when  I  was  first  elected.  I 
am  an  '  institution ' :  and  yet,  my  immortal  soul  feels 
the  same  boy's  soul,  and  the  same  youth's  soul.  As  I 
looked  at  the  moat  I  felt  my  old  dread  of  earwigs,  and  in 
the  little  room  could  see  the  page  of  the  Eton  4  Latin 
Grammar  '  from  which  I  learnt  *  Amo  '  '  Amas  '  '  Amat.' 

Anyway  *  Amo  '  I  love  you,  darling  Mamma,  with  all 
love  to  dearest  Papa. — Your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

732 

To  his  Father 

DOVER,  llth  January  1910. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — Your  letter  is  cheering  over  our 
prospects  in  Wilts.  I  should  be  particularly  pleased  if  we 
won  Johnny  Fuller's  seat,  not  from  any  ill-will  to  him, 
but  because  it  is  that  type  of  liberal  which  most  misleads. 
If  Johnny  Fuller,  with  a  stake  in  the  country,  an  officer 
in  the  Yeomanry,  playing  polo,  etc.,  connives  at  socialism 
and  bolsters  up  Free  Trade,  it  is  not  easy  to  convince  Mr. 
Jones  the  solicitor,  or  Mr.  Smith  the  builder,  or  Tom, 


374          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

Dick,  and  Harry,  that  we  are  being  beaten  in  manufacture 
and  threatened  with  defeat  in  War. 

The  other  class,  who  do  even  more  harm,  are  the  conserva- 
tives who  merely  amuse  themselves.  I  prefer  the  cackling 
alarmist.  It  was  the  geese  who  saved  the  Capitol. 

We  are  doing  well  here  to  the  best  of  my  belief.  But 
there  was  never  so  uncertain  an  Election  over  the  country 
generally.  Sibell  is  working  like  a  Trojan.  I  have  no 
view  on  the  general  result,  beyond  this.  Two  months 
ago  I  said  we  should  win  130  seats.  Now,  I  believe  we 
shall  do  better. 

Of  five  years  hence  I  can  speak  with  more  confidence. 
I  am  confident  that  by  then  we  shall  have  a  large  majority 
for  Tariff  Reform  and  Defence ;   unless — '  absit  omen  '- 
we  have  been  wiped  out  by  Germany  and  social  discord 
before  the  five  years  are  up. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

733 

To  his  Father 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

January  16th,  1910. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — You  are  still  asking  about  five 
years  hence.  I  agree  ;  that  is  my  point.  My  view  on  it 
is  that  in  five  years  time  two  things  will  have  happened. 
The  '  English  '  will  have  realised  that  they  must  resume 
their  part  of  deciding  policy.  They  will  deny  the  right 
of  the  Irish,  Welsh,  and  Scotch  to  deflect  Imperial  policy 
because  of  Home  Rule,  Disestablishment,  or  a  belated 
regard  for  Mr.  Gladstone. 

The  '  English  '  will  use  all  constitutional  means  and,  if 
if  need  be,  extra-constitutional  means. 

(2)  In  the  same  way  the  '  English '  will  take  note  of 
organised  '  Labour  '  and  deny  its  right  to  deflect  Imperial 
policy. 

Against  (1)  the  Nationalist  and  (2)  the  class  forces  of 
separation  they  will  assert  their  own  qualities  of  (1)  Indi- 
vidual independence  and  (2)  Imperial  consolidation. 

For  these  two  objects  Tariff  Reform  is  essential. 


TO  HIS  FATHER  375 

I  am  quite  sure  of  the  result  five  years  hence.  If  I  knew 
I  was  going  to  die  next  week  I  should  die  a  happy  man  in 
the  certainty  that  our  English  love  of  personal  indepen- 
dence and  Imperial  inter-dependence  was  going  to  triumph. 

In  this  present  acute  controversy  I  see  by  the  first  day's 
results  that  candidates  of  definite  personality  win.  For 
example  Tommy  Bowles  beats  Eddy  Cadogan. 

The  new  House  of  Commons  will  be  much  more  like 
the  House  of  Commons  you  knew  than  any  we  have  had 
for  many  years. 

We  shall  have  the  best  '  men.' 

To  descend  from  these  generalisations,  the  Central 
Office  (and  A.  J.  B.)  will  perceive  the  absurdity  of  fighting 
with  Candidates  called  '  Profumo  '  or  *  Bellilios.' 

After  all  the  '  shouting  and  the  wreaths '  at  Dover  I 
felt  lost  in  London  this  afternoon.  But  I  met  Timmy 
[Winchester]  at  the  Carlton,  and  Sibell  and  I  dined  quietly 
with  him  and  Tossy. 

Timmy  has  made  big  speeches  about  the  country,  and 
even  in  Wales  has  done  good  work. 

Why  ?  Because  he,  in  his  way,  has  studied  the  question 
of  Tariff  Reform. 

Most  of  our  speakers  have  not  studied  it,  it  takes  two 
years  to  teach  any  constituency  the  elements  of  the  con- 
troversy between  Tariff  Reform  and  the  received  Free 
Trade  assertions. 

From  that  point  of  view  also  I  conclude  that  we  could 
not  have  won  the  battle  in  this  election.  But  I  also  am 
sure  that,  as  study  and  controversy  proceed,  we  shall  win 
in  five  years.  Personally,  I  think  we  shall  win  in  two 
years.  And,  by  *  winning,'  I  mean  that  the  whole  nation 
will  be  converted. 

So,  to  sum  up,  whether  we  win  by  ten  now,  or — as  I 
expect — are  beaten  by  40,  the  future  is  certain  and  sound. 
I  have  said  all  along  that  we  should  win  130  seats.  I  said 
this  when  most  people  thought  we  should  win  nothing. 
I  said  it  when  many  people  thought  we  should  win  by  a 
working  majority.  And  I  say  it  now. 


376          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

Supposing  that  turns  out  to  be  true,  I  give  the  Govern- 
ment eighteen  months,  and  then  am  persuaded  that  we 
shall  win,  and  be  in  for  twenty  years. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

P.S. — Sibell  will  tell  you  what  the  children  of  Dover 
were  like.  They  swarmed  like  bees  on  our  carriage.  They 
were  the  children  of  the  poorest.  But  they  might,  any 
one  of  them,  have  been  my  child  or  Bendor's  child.  The 
race  has  not  degenerated.  It  has  been  cramped  and  sold 
to  the  foreigner.  These  half -fed,  badly  clothed,  wretchedly 
poor  children,  had  clear  eyes,  good  features,  clean  limbs. 
They  were  all  4  gentlemen.'  They  cheered  me,  and  Sibell, 
and — mark  this — c  Mr.  Wyndham's  coachman  '  and  '  the 
old  horses  that  pull  us.'  I  said  no  word  of  politics 
to  them.  Sibell — as  a  Christian — only  suggested  that 
instead  of  hooting  the  other  side  (when  we  passed  their 
strongholds)  they  should  only  cheer  louder.  That  puzzled 
them,  for  they  love  conflict. 

But — of  their  own  selves — they  said  from  time  to  tune 
'  We  want  a  strong  Navy,'  or  *  That 's  shut  because  the 
Germans  take  away  our  father's  work.' 

These  little  ill-fed,  clean-bred,  English  children  are  my 
guarantee  of  the  future  and  my  answer  to  what  will 
happen  five  years  hence. 

The  whole  of  Dover  went  mad  last  night.  I  had  a 
crowd  of  6000  or  8000  shouting  themselves  into  delirium. 

Even  the  night  before,  on  Friday,  so  many  got  on  to  the 
carriage  that  they  broke  the  front  wheel,  and  S.  S.  and 
I  walked  home  arm-in-arm  escorted  by  thousands  of  the 
poorest  people  in  England,  who  love  us  because  they  know 
we  love  their  country. 

734 

To  his  Mother 

SAIOHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  January  24th,  1910. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  am  picking  up  fast  and  shall 
get  out  of  bed  this  afternoon.  I  am  only  limp,  with  slow 


TO  HIS  FATHER  377 

pulse,  and  so  soon  as  I  can  eat  shall  be  strong  again.  I 
have  rested  my  brain  and  last  night  almost  ceased  dream- 
ing of  politics.  I  have  been  reading  '  David  Copperfield  ' 
for  the  4th  time. 

It  does  annoy  me  to  be  4  out  of  the  hunt '  just  for  this 
last  bit.  But,  on  the  other  hand,  I  have  been  going  hard 
all  the  time  and  I  expected  I  should  have  to  stop.  I 
meant  to  finish  Dover  anyhow.  And  I  did.  I  never 
missed  one  meeting  though  I  had  bronchial  catarrh  and 
the  bottom  of  one  lung  bunged  up.  Then  I  determined 
I  would  hang  on  till  after  Crewe  on  Friday  night.  I  did 
Louth  in  Lincolnshire  on  Tuesday,  spoke  for  one  hour  and 
ten  minutes.  But  the  long  journey  the  next  day  some- 
how settled  the  business,  and  on  Thursday  night  I  hauled 
down  my  flag. 

The  general  result  is  excellent.  We  shall  have  another 
Election  very  shortly  :  perhaps  this  year  ;  and  from  now 
till  then  must  keep  up  a  continuous  fight  with  all  our  foes 
— as  if  it  was  one  General  Election.  It  is  a  tiring  prospect. 
But  that  is  what  we  have  got  to  do. 

S.  S.  has  let '  35  '  for  February  1st.  Could  I  go  to  '  44  ' 
and  be  looked  after  by  Margaret  ?  I  should  love  that  if 
quite  convenient.  It  always  inspires  my  work  to  be  at 
44. — Your  devoted  son,  GEORGE. 


735 

To  his  Father 


SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
January  25th,  1910. 


MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  enjoyed  the  card  and  tape.  It 
worked  perfectly.  I  know  that  Tariff  Reform  is  not  every- 
thing. But  it  is  a  great  thing  in  itself,  and,  also,  in  my 
opinion,  the  only  weapon  by  which  we  can  defeat  the 
kind  of  legislation  that  alarms  you. 

It  is  a  great  thing  in  itself,  because  you  cannot  have 
a  healthy  State,  or  Nation,  even  in  Peace,  unless  it  has  a 
Frontier.  You  must  think  on  all  matters  of  your  country 
as  a  definite  organism,  and  not  as  a  chance  part  of  a  cos- 
mopolitan community. 


378          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

It  is  the  only  weapon  with  which  you  can  fight  Socialism  ; 
because  '  Labour ' — or  even  the  wrecks  and  misfits  of 
'  Labour ' — will  always  look  somewhere  for  help  and 
subsistence. 

Cosmopolitan  Individualism  was  never  a  truth,  only  a 
dream,  and,  I  think,  a  nightmare. 

In  Feudal  times,  Labour  and  the  *  misfits  *  looked  to 
the  '  fief '  and  were  helped  and  sustained. 

When  Feudalism — as  an  ideal — was  destroyed  a  hundred 
years  ago,  people  tried  cosmopolitan  individualism.  It 
never  worked. 

Now  they  must  either  look  to  the  State  as  a  State ;  or 
to  the  world  as  a  Socialistic  community. 

The  second  is  insanity.  The  first,  if  realised  by  Tariff 
Reform,  can  help  the  individual  without  sapping  his 
independence. 

The  foolish  blend  of  Individualism  and  Socialism  to 
which  the  Liberal-Labour  Party  is  reduced  is  worse  than 
the  two  '  ideals  '  of  which  it  is  compounded.  They  are 
each  insane.  For  each  neglects  the  Frontier  and  the 
Home,  which  are  the  two  poles  of  political  existence. 
There  is  something  more  repulsive  than  insanity,  and  that 
is  sheer  Folly ;  known  to  be  folly  by  those  who  practice  it. 
This  foolish  Blend — which  the  Lib.-Labs.  call  a  policy — 
combines  mental  aberration  with  mental  turpitude. 
There  is  no  mixture  more  nauseous  and  deadly. 

I  hope  to  get  to  Clouds  before  the  House  meets. 

Just  now  I  am  busy  getting  well.  All  love  to  darling 
Mamma  and  to  you. — Your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

736 

To  his  Mother 

SAIOHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  January  25th,  1910. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — -I  am  much  better  to-day. 
Indeed  the  Results  would  revive  a  Mummy.  To-day's 
results,  i.e.  of  yesterday's  polls,  are,  on  examination,  the 
best  we  have  had.  For  there  are  only  13  seats  to  attack 


TO  HIS  MOTHER 


370 


in  England,  twelve  Liberal  and  one  Labour.  Out  of  the 
twelve  Liberal  seats  we  won  nine  and  they  only  saved 
three. 

Oddly  enough  we  also  won  a  seat  in  Ireland,  or  ten  to 
the  good  in  all. 

I  have  invented  the  best  plan — I  modestly  suggest— 
for  shewing  day  by  day  how  the  Lib. -Lab.  majority  ha^ 
melted. 

The  sound  test  for  the  great  questions  at  stake — i.e. 
Budget,  House  of  Lords,  on  the  Government  side — is  to 
shew  the  result  of  each  day's  Polling  on  (1)  The  Liberal 
and  Labour  majority  over  the  Unionists,  and  (2)  the  Lib.- 
Lab.  majority  over  Unionists  and  Nationalists,  i.e.  Majority 
in  the  whole  House. 

That  is  the  sound  test  because  on  the  Budget  we  know 
that  the  Irish  are  against  the  Lib. -Labs.  Whilst  on  the 
Constitutional  question  of  the  House  of  Lords,  if  the  Irish 
are  with  them,  it  is  only  because  of  Home  Rule. 

If  S.  S.  copies  my  chart  I  will  send  it,  but  the  results 
which  shew  the  process  of  '  melting  a  majority  '  are  :— 

LIB.  AND  LAB.  MAJORITY 


Over  Unionists. 

In  Whole  House. 

14th  January 

.    251 

168 

15th 

.    223 

148 

17th 

.    193 

110 

18th 

.    169 

86 

19th 

.    133 

50 

20th 

.    Ill 

28 

No  majority 

21st 

.      75 

8 

22nd 

.      79 

4 

24th 

.      58 

22 

That  means  that  if  no  side  won  or  lost  any  more  seals, 
then  if  on  the  Budget,  or  the  next  Budget  in  May,  the 


380          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

Irish  abstained,  the  Lib.-Labs.  would  beat  us  by  58.  But 
if  the  Irish  voted  against  the  Budget,  the  Lib.-Labs.  would 
be  beaten  by  24. 

Of  course,  if  they  attack  the  Lords  and  buy  the  Irish, 
they  would  have  a  large  majority  of  58+82=140. 

But  the  country  would  not  stand  that,  for  it  involves 
buying  the  Irish  by  (a)  letting  them  off  taxes,  and  putting 
more  taxes  on  the  English ;  (b)  promising  the  Irish  Home 
Rule ;  and  (c)  making  the  Lords  incapable  of  preventing 
them  from  carrying  the  promise  out. 

The  English  would  support  the  Lords  in  resisting  this — 
'  Yes,  I  don't  think !  '  The  above  is  based  on  taking 
present  nett  gains — 97=194  on  a  division,  and,  as  I  said, 
assuming  no  more  gains,  till  we  get  them.  But  we  shall 
get  some  more. 

I  prophesied  130  nett  gains ;  so  we  still  want  33.  We 
shall  see. 

The  most  amusing  result  would  be  if  we  won  exactly 
126  nett.  For  then  we  should  be  294  and  the  Lib.-Labs. 
293,  and,  as  the  Speaker  is  on  our  side,  for  practical 
purposes  it  would  be  293  each,  apart  from  the  Irish. 

There  are  minor  features  which  must  modify  results 
and  may  prove  important  and  even  decisive. 

(a)  The  Independent  Nationalists  under  W.  O'Brien, 
who  hate   Redmond,   have  won   some   seats   from  him. 
They  will  raise  Hell's  delight  in  the  House  it"  Redmond 
tries  to  support  the  'Land  Values  and  Licence  Taxes' 
Budget,  in  order  to  attack  the  Lords,  on  the  pretence  of 
getting  Home  Rule  in  the  long  run. 

(b)  Among  the  so-called  Liberals  there  are  several  bad 

eggs  from  their,  and  indeed  any  point  of  view — A , 

B ,   C ,   D .     I  do   not   see  them   out  tiger- 
hunting  with  Lloyd  George. 

If  Asquith  is  captured  again  by  the  extreme  left  these 
creatures  will  probably  vote  against  the  Government. 

The  only  one  of  them  for  whom  I  have  any  respect  is 
the  4  shadiest '  of  the  lot,  by  common  slander,  B . 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  381 

I  shall  watch  him  with  interest.  He  is  very  clever  and 
bold,  and  has  a  long  score  to  wipe  off  against  the  Govern- 
ment. 

He  has  also  taken  the  precaution  of  hedging  on  Tariff 
Reform.  So  that  he  is  free  to  cross  the  floor  when  he 
pleases.  And  that  will  be  the  first  time  he  can  stab  the 
Government. 

That  is  all  fair  enough.     The  men  I  cannot  stomach  are 

those  such  as  D ,  a  financial  Polo-Player,  Christian 

names  and  *  dear  old  boy '  with  all  of  us.  Well,  he  goes 
and  beats  a  trump  like  by  50  votes  for  the  gar- 
bage of  political  success  and  the  off-chance  of  a  peerage, 
if  he  makes  enough  money  by  promoting  companies  to 
buy  one. 

The  above  seems  to  me  to  be  distinctly  libellous  if  it 
were  not — as  it  is — a  privileged  opinion  from  a  son  to 
his  mother. 

I  thank   God   that   E ,   a  fraudulent   Polish   Jew 

Financier,  has  been  beaten.  The  insolent  cur  having 
bought  an  English  wife,  and  maltreated  her,  and  bought 

his  entrance  into  the  Hunting  Field,  proposed  to 

buy  an  English  constituency  in  order  to  buy  a  peerage 
later  on.  Luckily  he  was  too  blatant  even  for  these 
days.  He  had  the  insolence  to  say  he  would  buy  £500,000 
worth  of  House  Property  and  reduce  all  the  rents  ten 
per  cent. 

Such  is  the  cause  of  Progress  and  of  *  the  People  versus 
the  Peers.'  E ,  curly  haired  C ,  '  dear  old  chap- 
pie '  D ,  and  all  the  other  '  bounding  brothers  '  of 

cosmopolitan  Finance  and  polyglot  '  Society  '  and  dining 
off  truffles  and  imitating  the  Yiddish  pronunciation  of 
the  letter  R  with  a  guttural  growl.  '  That 's  the  dog's 
letter,'  as  Shakespeare  says.  '  O  their  offence  is  rank,  it 
smells  to  Heaven.'  When  they  are  black-balled  for  the 
Yacht-Squadron  they  attack  the  House  of  Lords  in  order 
to  buy  a  Peerage.  But,  thank  God,  I  say  again,  the 
English  counties  have  '  carried  the  scent  of  the  hay  over 
the  footlights '  and  bust  their  show.  So  three  cheers  for 
Merry  England  and  down  with  the  Ortolan  brigade.  Let 


382          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

them  go  to  Monte  Carlo  and  play  with  motor-boats  instead 
of  making  ducks  and  drakes  of  the  British  Navy. 

I  feel  distinctly  better  after  writing  the  above.  I 
loathe  convalescence  and  it  is  a  real  relief  to  write  about 

E and  D .  Quite  seriously  it  is  the  truth  that 

England  has  been  saved  by  the  fact  that  Mary's  coach- 
man, Prue,  and  my  gardener,  whose  name  happens  to  be 
England,  share  my  opinion  of  them. 

The  E revolution  has  not  been  a  success.  '  Chap- 
pies '  in  Polo-breeches  can't  lead  the  Sans-culottes. 
Proficiency  in  the  Yiddish  gutturals  prevents  Welsh 
Psalm-singing  with  the  right  nasal  twang.  The  Truffle- 
hunters  are  poor  Apostles  of  the  little  loaf. 

I  wish  Asquith  joy  of  all  his  piebald  Hybrids  and  express 
an  earnest  prayer  that  our  central  office  will  permit  us 
to  fight  another  tune  without  the  assistance  of  the  Pro- 
fumos,  and  Bellilios,  and  other  Levantine  levies. — Your 
most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

26.1.10. 

P.S. — Must  buck  this  up  in  haste.  We  only  won  ten 
yesterday,  not  eleven.  I  have  corrected  the  chart.  You 
can  go  on  with  it.  One  has  to  wait  for  the  full  returns  of 
each  day,  e.g.  up  to  now  we  have  lost  two  and  won 
one  on  yesterday.  We  shall  get  the  other  returns  to-night 
or  to-morrow  morn.  All  love. 

P.S.  2. — Much  better,  pulse  56  !  instead  of  48. 

737 

To  his  Father 

SA.IGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  January  26th}  1910. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  send  you  a  reprint  of  my  speech 
at  Hale  on  30th  December,  which  has  been  circulated. 
Hale  is  eight  miles  from  Manchester  in  the  Cotton  district. 
It  was  an  open  mass  meeting,  so  there  was  not  the  occa- 
sion for  polished  phrases.  But  the  speech  is  a  piece  of 
fair  and  close  argument.  They  listened  to  all  the  last 


TO  HILAIRE  BELLOC  388 

part  about  cotton  with  rapt  attention.  We  shall  win 
cotton  in  two  years'  time.  But  only,  I  believe,  by  this 
kind  of  advocacy,  with  figures  to  support  statements. — 
Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

738 
To  Hilairc  Belloc 

$AK;HTON  GHAN«K, 
(JuKSTKii,  oO//(  January  1910. 

MY  DEAR  BELLOC, — '  Now  the  Hurly-Burly  's  done  '  it 
is  time  for  us  to  exchange  signs  of  life  and  signals  of  amity. 
I  should  not  have  mourned  over  your  defeat — nor  you  ? 
But  this  I  will  say,  if  any  one  of  my  political  opponents 
was  to  win  I  would  have  chosen  you.  You  ought  to  be 
in  the  House  of  Commons  on  public  grounds,  and  I  am 
glad  that  you  are  on  the  private  grounds  of  friendship. 
For  we  are  companions. 

I  do  not  propose  to  write  much  to-night.  Since  my 
election  and  an  incursion  into  Lincolnshire  I  have  been  in 
bed  with  congestion  of  the  lungs.  But  now  I  am  up  and 
well  and  eager  for  life  and  light  and  brave  words  about 
the  wonder  of  living.  When  the  House  meets  we  will 
eat  sausages  and  drink  beer  and  be  merry  and  wise 
together.  I  was  glad  to  see  that  '  Marie  Antoinette '  has 
gone  into  a  second  edition  and  sorry  to  recall  that  you 
sold  her  before  she  was  born. 

If  you  write  to  me  soon  address  to  44  Belgrave  Square. 
We  have  let  35  Park  Lane  till  the  end  of  March.  But 
if  you  don't  write  for  ten  days  then  write  here. — Yours 
ever,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 


CHAPTER  XIII 

FEBRUARY  1910  TO  MAY  1911 

In  Opposition  —  Army  Debate  —  France  —  His  Parents'  Golden 
Wedding — His  Rectorial  Address  '  The  Springs  of  Romance ' — The 
General  Election — His  Father's  Death? 

739 
To  Philip  Hanson 

STANWAY, 
WINCHCOMBE,  13.ii.  10. 

MY  DEAR  P.  H., — I  read  your  two  articles  with  interest 
and  will  send  them  back  when  I  next  come  across  a  large 
envelope.  They  arrived  opportunely  to  give  my  mind  a 
suitable  list,  for  the  Sidney  Webbs  are  here  and  conversa- 
tion gravitates  into  the  pit  of  social  regeneration.  We 
are  also  A.  J.  B.,  the  Salisburys  and  Hugh  Cecil,  and 
John  Hugh  Smith. 

Excepting  one  talk  with  A.  J.  B.  I  have  done  no  Politics. 
I  have  been  '  pickling  '  rather  idly  and  pleasantly  over 
materials  that  may,  or  may  not,  help  in  my  Rectorial 
Address.  Literature  of  the  Dark  Ages,  troubadours,  etc., 
etc.,  and  making  notes. 

Side  by  side  with  an  historical  attempt  to  account  for 
Romance,  I  am  thinking  more  obscurely  (!)  of  a  physical, 
or  metaphysical,  explanation  of  what  Romance  is.  It  is 
still  very  dim.  But  whether  this  is,  or  is  not,  of  use  to 
the  Address,  I  want  to  write  something  more  to  accom- 
pany my  Scott  some  day  in  a  book  of  essays.  I  know 
that  Zola's  realism  is  wrong,  and  that  Pope  is  inadequate. 
As  Dr.  Johnson  said,  '  He  excelled  all  others  in  poetical 
prudence.'  I  know  that  Scott  was  right.  And  I  ask 
myself  why. 

Chesterton's  criticism  is  nearly  right,  too,  when  he  says 

884 


TO  PHILIP  HANSON  385 

that  Dickens  was  realistic  because  he  was  Romantic- 
only,  as  usual,  he  uses  words  in  a  way  that  confounds. 
His  examples,  that  Murdstone  is  the  step-father  as  he  is 
to  a  small  child,  or,  that  the  characters  in  '  Copperfield '  are 
large  because  David  was  small,  are  illuminating. 

In  my  Scott  we  carried  it,  I  think,  as  far  as  that  Realism 
(= observation)  and  Romanticism  (= imagination)  are  the 
primary  modes. 

I  think  I  see  my  way  to  two  further  steps,  perhaps  to 
three  further  steps. 

(1)  Romanticism = the  reaction  of  the  mind  on  the  real, 
not  its  mere  reflection  in  a  mirror. 

(2)  Romanticism  reacts  chiefly  on  the  strange,  instead 
of  repelling  the  strange — as  the  Greek  mind  and  Latin 
mind  repelled  it. 

(3)  (And  this,  my  dear  P.  H.,  is  the  devil !)  Romanticism 
in  accepting  the  strange,  performs  an  act  of  recognition, 
because  man's  mind  is  (teste  the  Greeks  (?)  a  microcosm, 
and  the  Bible — in  the  image  of  God)  and  so  holds  all 
in  itself  implicitly.     But  after  Classicism,  or  prolonged 
routine,  some  things  are  atrophied  in  the  Mind.     Then, 
on  being  met  by  the  Mind,  they  are  recognised,  like  the 
prodigal  son,  and  re-united  to  the  familiar  with  jubilation 
and  extravagance  in  the  matter  of  a  fatted  calf. 

I  believe  this.  But  will  anybody  believe  me  ? — Yours 
ever,  G.  W. 

P.S. — I  go  to  Saighton  to-morrow  and  hunt  with  Percy, 
return  to  44  Belgrave  Square  Saturday,  and  dine  with 
A.  J.  B. 

And  Lettice  has  a  little  girl  born  yesterday,  at  which 
we  rejoice. 

P.S.  2. — To  revert  to  Unemployment  and  '  without 
prejudice  '  to  Tariff  Reform,  but  looking  only  to  research 
and  classification  as  preliminaries,  I  had  an  idea  last 
night. 

It  sprang  from  your  section  on  seasonal  trades.  I 
rather  demurred  to  your  inclusion  of  Gas-making,  merely 
practically  (not  imaginatively),  for  I  know  that  the  Dover 
VOL.  ii.  2s 


386          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

Gas-works  have  for  years — in  Winter  and  Summer — 
employed  the  same  numbers.  I  also  know  that  Gas- 
works make  a  great  many  things  beside  gas,  e.g.  dyes 
and  ammonia  as  by-products.  I  wondered  whether 
therein  lay  the  explanation.  Then  I  had  the  idea. 

Why  not  discover  and  classify  the  by-products  of  the 
workers'  faculty,  e.g.  a  paper-hanger  may  be  qualified 
in  a  secondary  way  by  his  aptitude  for  hanging  paper 
to  do  something  else.  Ditto  the  house -painter,  and 
so  on. 

I  think  this  ought  to  be  true. 

I  know  that  some  faculties  disqualify  for  some  other 
channels  of  activity.  Now  if  the  reverse  is  also  true,  we 
might  find  that  the  paper-hanger  and  house-painter  had 
developed  a  secondary  aptitude  which  could  be  exercised 
after  the  summer  holidays  are  over. 

I  tried  this  on  Sidney  Webb,  with  whom  I  had  a 
strenuous  two  hours,  and  he  did  not  scout  it.  But  that 
may  be  due  to  his  politeness. 

740 

To  his  Father 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
February  16th,  1910. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  am  very  much  obliged  to  you 
for  letting  me  put  up  at  44  till  Easter.  I  will  see  that  all 
bills  are  sent  in  and  paid  by  me  and  keep  the  receipts  ; 
also  putting  my  servant  on  board  wages. 

I  had  some  interesting  talk  with  Arthur  Balfour  at 
Stanway.  Redmond  will,  I  feel  pretty  sure,  accept 
Asquith's  assurances  whatever  they  may  be ;  and  then 
quarrel  with  the  Liberals  later  on.  Redmond  cannot 
afford  another  General  Election  this  year,  and  Asquith 
wishes  to  stay  in  for  a  year  and  a  half  or  two  years.  That 
being  so,  they  will  both  *  Humbug '  their  respective  parties 
and  connive  at  nothing  much  happening  till  1911  at 
earliest.  That  is  what  they  will  try  to  do.  They  may, 
however,  be  stampeded  by  Lloyd  George. 


TO  HIS  FATHER  387 

I  hunted  yesterday  and  am  none  the  worse  for  it,  so  I 
shall  hunt  to-morrow  and  Friday  and  go  up  for  Arthur's 
dinner  and  the  King's  speech  on  Saturday.  Perf  is  very 
well.  He  won  a  race  last  Saturday  against  professional 
jockeys  over  hurdles.  It  was  a  good  performance  and 
has  brought  him  fame  in  this  part  of  the  world. .  But  I 
hope  he  will  soon  be  too  heavy  for  such  exploits.  Bendor 
has  been  hunting  six  days  a  week,  going  well,  and  giving 
complete  satisfaction  to  an  exacting  Field. 

We  are  still  full  of  politics  in  Cheshire  and  determined 
to  win  more  seats  next  time. 

Love  to  darling  mamma. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

741 

To  his  Father 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  February  18th,  1910. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — Perf,  Bendor  and  self  are  just  in 
from  a  *  Red-letter '  day.  After  the  gale  yesterday,  which 
of  course  spoilt  our  sport — though  we  did  have  a  rather 
nice  gallop  in  the  evening — we  settled  that  to-day,  as  the 
wind  had  dropped,  we  were  going  to  do  great  things.  As 
we  motored  to  the  Meet  about  three  miles  the  other  side 
of  the  Cheshire  Hills  from  Saighton,  we  settled  what  run 
we  would  like  to  have  and  chose  the  best  you  could  have, 
by  way  of  the  longest  point  over  the  best  line.  Well,  we 
did  it  twice  !  and  once  back  again. 

We  only  drew  two  coverts  all  day.  We  found  at  once 
at  Wardle,  a  good  covert  half  a  mile  from  the  Meet. 
Viewed  away  a  big  dog-fox,  ran  first  away  from  the  hills 
to  Hurleston  covert,  which  is  six  miles  as  the  crow  flies 
from  the  hills.  Viewed  the  same  fox  away  and  then  raced 
slap  for  the  hills  and  killed  our  old  dog-fox  fair  and  square 
in  the  open  after  50  minutes  of  the  best,  just  a  mile  short 
of  the  hills. 

Benny  then  trotted  back  slowly  the  whole  way  to 
Baddiley,  which  is  one  and  a  half  miles  further  from  the 


388          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

hills  than  Hurleston.  I  have  just  measured  it,  a  full  7| 
or  7£  as  the  crow  flies.  We  found  at  once,  ran  fast  along 
the  canal — i.e.  parallel  to  the  hills  the  7  miles  and  more 
from  them.  Then  we  turned  and  ran  right  to  them  with- 
out touching  a  covert,  racing  a  field  off  from  where  we  had 
killed.  Fox,  and  hounds,  and  the  first  five  or  six  of  us 
were  all  together  into  the  little  outlying  wood  of  the  big 
woods  on  the  hills.  I  said  to  the  whip,  4  Perhaps  the  fox 
can't  face  the  hill ' — which  is  very  steep.  He  said,  '  It 
may  break  his  heart.'  But  he  was  headed  by  rustics 
screaming  with  excitement  and  that  saved  him.  For  he 
lay  down  and  another  jumped  up  and  took  them  all  the 
way  back  to  Baddiley  !  I  stopped  at  the  hills  and  rode 
home.  It  was  just  50  minutes  again  to  where  he  lay  down. 
A  day  to  remember. — Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

742 
To  his  Father 

44  BELGRAVE  SQUARE,  S.W., 
Sunday,  9  p.m.,  March  6th,  1910. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  am  just  back — 9  p.m. — from  a 
Saturday  and  a  half  Sunday  at  Saighton.  I  agree  that  we 
are  in  a  political  crisis  of  suffering  from  a  National  illness. 
I  cannot  prove  that  we  shall  recover,  but  I  believe  we  shall. 
As  Disraeli  said,  '  The  history  of  England  is  a  history  of  re- 
actions.' So  was  the  history  of  Rome.  Indeed  our  case 
is  far  more  favourable  than  most  of  the  grave  cases  from 
which  we,  and  other  nations,  have  recovered.  It  is  mainly 
due  to  idleness  and  pusillanimity  of  '  moderate  '  men, 
especially  among  liberals,  but  also  among  conservatives. 
We  have  not,  so  far,  to  contend  with  famine,  general  bank- 
ruptcy, and  the  fierce  passions  which  these  engender. 
Yet  our  ancestors,  and  the  Romans  on  several  occasions, 
dealt  faithfully  with  these  also.  Perhaps  one  might  say — 
in  a  gloomy  mood — that  the  absence  of  such  scourges 
delays  the  reaction.  There  are  no  violent  causes  to  force 
thoughtful  men  to  think  and  brave  men  to  act.  So,  for 
lack  of  decision,  the  crisis  and  the  malady  are  prolonged. 


TO  HILAIRE  BELLOC  389 

But  I  am  not  gloomy.  On  the  contrary,  it  is  my  know- 
ledge that  we  are  in  a  tight  place  which  reconciles  me  to 
politics.  If  all  were  well,  I  should  retire,  write  a  book, 
and  keep  a  pack  of  hounds. 

As  it  is,  I  have  to  work  hard  and  cannot  make  plans. 
I  may  be  able  to  get  to  Clouds  for  a  Sunday  before  Easter. 
But  I  am  hard  pressed  for  time.  At  such  a  moment  one 
has  to  think  (and  that  is  a  long  process)  in  order  to  be 
ready  to  act. 

I  am  very  sorry  about  dear  Fly  [a  dog].  All  love  to 
darling  mamma. — Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

P.S. — I  am  in  charge  of  the  House  during  Army  Esti- 
mates to-morrow,  Tuesday,  and  Wednesday,  and  must 
think  before  I  go  to  bed. 

743 

To  Hilaire  Belloc 

CLOUDS,  EAST  KNOYLE, 
SALISBURY,,  16th  April  1910. 

MY  DEAR  BELLOC, — Many  thanks  for  the  '  New  Age.' 
It  is  very  good.  I  wonder  if  we  could  teach  the  '  reformers  ' 
that  their  action  is  not  only  bad  for  the  poor,  because  cruel, 
but  bad  for  themselves,  because  nothing  does  a  man  more 
harm  than  being  cruel.  Do  you  think  they  would  be 
frightened — about  themselves — if  they  realised  how  dan- 
gerous it  is  to  be  cruel,  and  that  the  danger  increases  when 
meanness  and  conceit  are  added  to  cruelty  ?  That  this 
is,  indeed,  damnable  ?  That  they  are  damned  by  doing 
it  ?  I  believe  that  they  dread  damnation.  Just  as  hang- 
men object  to  being  hanged,  so  do  those  who  condemn 
others  shrink  instinctively  from  being  damned.  They 
dislike  the  prospect  so  much  that  they  disapprove  of  the 
word,  and  are  shocked  when  it  is  used. 

I  wrote  these  lines  on  Thursday  evening  after  going  to 
Jimmy  Tomkinson's  funeral. — Yours  ever, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 


390          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

I.  M. 

14TH  APRIL  1910 

It  was  April  to-day  as  I  rush'd  in  a  train  to  bury  a  friend. 

Why  did  I  go  ?     Well,  because  we  had  soldier' d  and  ridden 

together. 
I  whirl'd  up  to  Cheshire  and  back,  convinced  that  his  death  was 

no  end, 

But  a  gleam   in  the  laughter  and  tears  of  life,  that  is  like 
April  weather. 

In  April  there  is  not  a  doubt.     Vicissitudes  promise  the  store 
Which  every  true  lover  of  life  accepts  from  the  infinite  art 

Of  a  world  that  shouts  '  Go ! '  to  the  young,  and  to  older  men, 

'  Go  it  once  more  ! ' 
For  April  and  courage  deny  any  end  to  a  work  of  the  heart. 

It  is  all  very  well  to  be  wise,  to  think,  and  to  shrink,  and  to 

shirk ; 
But  April  is  wiser.     *  Come  out ! '  is  her  cry  in  the  rain,  or 

the  sun. 
Her  flowers  explain  that  to  live  is  a  challenge  no  menace  can 

burk, 

That  to  be  is  to  do,  and  to  die,  the  summit  of  all  we  have 
done. 

744 
To  Charles  T.  Gaily 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
27.iv.10 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — I  have  10  minutes  before  starting 
to  Crewe  to  speak ;  I  use  them  to  convey  a  '  clincher ' 
on  the  sonnets  which  I  saw  in  10  seconds,  opening  at 
hazard.  Sonnet  70,  lines  56-78,  demonstrate  my  theory, 
because  apart  from  it  they  are  nonsense.  '  Time,'  at  end 
of  line  6,  is  the  Enemy.  '  Being  woo'd  of  Time,'  means 
to  suffer  from  the  tyrant,  but  that  shows  the  worth  of  the 
sufferer,  because  he  is  attacked  by  Time,  the  Tyrant. 

The  '  pure  unstained  Prime  '  is  the  eternal  past.  The 
wounds  and  mud  of  Time  are  the  *  accidents.' 


TO  CHARLES  T.  GATTY  391 

You  see  that  in  this  sonnet,  which  seems  so  personal,  the 
Immortal  Bard  touches  on  his  perennial  theme,  i.e.  his 
attack  on  Time. 

No  upholder  of  the  ultra-personal  theory  can  explain 
*  being  woo'd  of  Time.'  10  minutes  up  and  I  'm  off  to 
defend  the  Constitution  which  is  also  being  woo'd  of  Time  ; 
and,  indeed,  debauched. — Yours,  G.  W. 


745 

To  Charles  T.  Gatty 


85  PARK  LANE, 
28.iv.10. 


MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — Just  back  from  Crewe  to  resume  our 
talk  on  the  Sonnets. 

I  have  thought  that  '  Informer  '  was  an  apostrophe  to 
Time.  And  it  may  be  that.  On  the  whole,  when  I  was 
writing  and  more  soaked  in  the  stuff,  I  compared  it  to 
*  frailer  spies  '  hi  cxxi.  I  felt  that  c  to  cxxv  was  one 
poem. 

Still  you  agree  with  me  that  the  sonnets  generally,  and 
c  to  cxxv  specially,  are  primarily  a  metaphysical  out- 
burst, but,  secondarily,  based  upon  and  built  up  with 
actual  experience,  and,  probably,  addressed  to  an  audience 
also  steeped  in  neo-platonic  attacks  on  the  reality  of  Time, 
and  also  acquainted  with  political  and  personal  and  literary 
(rival  poets)  events  which  had  troubled  the  relations,  and 
darkened  the  atmosphere,  of  a  poetical  circle  of  friends. 

You  will  find  what  I  said  on  this  in  the  last  half  of 
page  250. 

I  had  a  '  full  house  '  at  Crewe,  spoke  for  one  hour  and 
five  minutes,  and  also  at  an  overflow.  But  my  chief 
interest  was  to  see  every  bridge  between  London  and 
Crewe  crowded  with  rustics  waiting  for  the  flying-men 
and  silhouetted  against  one  of  the  most  lovely  April  skies 
I  remember. — Yours  ever,  G.  W. 


392          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

746 

To  Charles  Boyd 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 
2.V.10. 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — All  my  energy  has  been  devoted, 
since  we  met,  to  fundamental  questions  of  Public  Policy. 

Whilst  ruminating  in  the  Park  on  these  matters  I  met 
George  Street. 

To  him,  in  that  mood,  I  said,  '  with  emphasis,'  that  I 
would  rather  my  occasional  lines  on  Jimmy  Tomkinson 
were  not  published. 

In  so  far  as  I  can  care  about  such  an  ephemeral  response 
to  the  drama  of  life,  that  mood  persists,  for  two  reasons  :— 

(1)  My  relations  with  Jimmy  Tomkinson  were  private. 
I  shrink  from  giving  any  one  touch  to  what  is  sad  to  his 
sons  and  daughters. 

(2)  I  may  be  wanted  for  the  great  public  contention  on 
the  constitution  at  any  moment.     It  is  wiser,  in  view  of 
that  possibility,  to  offer  no  '  target.'     I  am  not  at  liberty 
to  '  unpack  my  heart '  or  '  air  my  music  ' ;    '  lights  out ' 
is  the  motto  for  men  in  waiting  for  the  moment  of  counter- 
attack.    So  I  would  rather  not  publish  anything,  or  say, 
or  write  anything  just  now.     I  mean  to  get  the  right  thing 
done. — Yours  ever,  G.  W. 

747 

To  his  Father 

35  PARK  LANK,  W., 
May  Wth,  1910. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — The  Addresses  in  the  House  last 
Wednesday  were  moved  in  good  speeches  by  Asquith  and 
Arthur.  Then  we  got  in  taxi-cabs  and  took  the  Address 
to  the  King  (new)  at  Marlborough  House.  He  shook  hands 
with  us  all  simply  and  kindly. 

Saturday  I  went  with  Bendor  by  the  8.30  a.m.  from 
Euston  to  Chester  for  Yeomanry.  We  had  a  pleasant 


TO  HIS  FATHER  393 

journey  with  breakfast  in  the  train  and  talked  over  Yeo- 
manry and  Politics.  We  motored  to  Eaton.  On  arriving, 
went  straight  to  the  polo  ground  in  the  Park,  where  we 
had  a  vigorous  practice  and  got  very  hot.  Then  we  had 
a  short  lunch  ;  changed  into  uniform,  and  motored  four 
miles  to  Handley,  whither  two  horses  were  sent  on  and 
where  the  Eaton  squadron  was  assembled.  We  rode  with 
the  squadron  to  Camp  near  Cholmondeley  about  seven 
miles.  Since  then  I  have  been  very  busy.  We  missed  your 
fine  weather,  for  Saturday  night  was  icy  cold  and  yesterday 
it  rained  in  a  deluge  from  eight  to  four  in  the  afternoon. 
But  to-day  the  sun  shone  and  everybody  cheered  up. 

The  work  of  Yeomanry  increases  every  year.  They 
now  insist  on  our  doing  all  our  cooking  and  waiting  by 
ourselves  and  with  our  own  ovens  and  utensils  and  without 
a  contractor.  This  entails  great  difficulty  in  what  is  called 
'  interior  economy.'  In  another  region  of  activity,  they 
insist  on  our  training  16  signallers,  two  maxim  gun  detach- 
ments, and  twenty  trained  scouts.  In  another,  they 
leave  us  to  make  the  contract  for  camp  and  drill  and 
manoeuvre  ground.  This,  owing  to  difficulties  over  Chol- 
mondeley Park,  entailed  walking  six  miles  and  hiring  four 
large  fields  from  farmers. 

To-day  we  drilled  all  the  morning.  In  the  afternoon 
we  drilled  dismounted  and  I  worked  out  two  manoeuvre 
schemes  and  a  night  outpost  scheme  with  the  Adjutant. 
Then  I  motored  to  Crewe  and  caught  the  7.30,  arriving 
here  at  11  p.m.,  as  I  have  to  be  in  Westminster  Hall  with 
the  *  Faithful  Commons  '  at  11  a.m.  to-morrow.  I  go 
back  to  Cholmondeley  to-morrow  and  return  Thursday 
night  for  the  funeral  at  Windsor  to  which  Sibell  and  self 
are  both  commanded.  The  great  excitement  is  that  dear 
Guy  is  coming  for  it  from  Petersburg.  So  we  shall  be 
there  together. 

Sibell  went  to  Buckingham  Palace  to-day  at  2  p.m.  with 
Lily  Zetland  to  pass  by  the  coffin  in  the  Throne  Room. 
She  says  that  the  six  officers  of  the  Brigade  who  stand  like 
statues  round  the  coffin  are  most  impressive. 

Percy  has   come  up   with   three   brother  officers   and 


394          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

quartered    them    here.        Lily    Zetland    is    putting    up 
others. 

Love  to  darling  mamma. — Your  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 

748 
To  Charles  Boyd 

SAIGHTON,  I7.vi.10. 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — I  knew  '  The  Shropshire  Lad  '  of 
old,  but  I  read  the  book  through  twice  to  myself  in  the 
train,  and  a  quarter  of  it  aloud  to  Sibell  after  dinner. 
The  roses  in  the  garden  and  buttercups  in  the  fields  are 
beyond  science.  Tho'  seen,  they  belong  to  Faith ;  like 
young  love  and  armies  at  last  confronted  !  Of  the  clusters 
and  explosions  of  crimson  roses  on  the  crimson  tower  I 
will  not  even  write.  Some  other  art  must  be  invented  by 
man  before  we  too  can  shout  of  that  summer  without  making 
any  noise,  even  of  a  pen.  An  element  in  that  art  will  be 
to  have  oceans  of  green  round  our  silent  crimson  trumpets, 
and  new-mown  lawns  leading  to  them  and  the  shadows  of 
trees. 

When  I  see  Summer  I  feel  justified  of  the  only  attack 
I  have  ever  made  on  the  Roman  Church.  How  easy  it  is 
to  write  of  the  contrast  of  what  we  adore.  Housman 
writes  of  death  and  suicide  because  he  loves  the  May  and 
the  dusty  roads  of  England,  and  lads  insolent  with  life. 
All  the  Art  of  the  world  has  only  caught  a  few  larks  in  a 
few  cages  to  remind  man  of  Summer  in  the  blind-alleys  of 
his  slum. — Yours,  G.  W. 

749 

To  Charles  Boyd 

44  BELGRAVE  SQUARE,  S.W., 
Friday,  I7.vi.10.     1.20  a.m. 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — I  could  not  get  to  the  Garrick  as 
I  was  at  a  concert  and  am  just  back.  Nor  can  I  be  here 
at  11.30  to-day  as  I  have  to  do  things  on  the  way  to  Euston 
for  12.10  to  Saighton. 


TO  PHILIP  HANSON  395 

All  this  is  absurd  !  Can  you  be  Napoleonic,  cut  the 
painter,  and  come  with  me  to  Saighton  by  the  12.10 
Euston  ?  I  am  ordering  two  seats  in  luncheon  car  on  the 
chance. 

If  you  are  entangled  with  the  Fair,  tell  a  lie.  If  you 
are  busy  with  mankind,  tell  them  to  go  to  Hell !  Come 
along  and  let  us  have  a  jolly  journey  to  see  the  garden  at 
Saighton.  There  is  no  one  there  but  Lady  Grosvenor  and 
self.  Then,  on  Saturday,  I  will  get  a  taxi  and  we  will 
whirl  over  the  country  and  do  Beeston  Castle  and  Bun- 
bury  Church ;  or  take  Chester  by  storm.  I  propose  a 
sudden  decision  and  a  noble  exploit.  I  stay  at  Saighton 
till  Monday  and  hope  to  bring  Sibell  back  early  for  my 
Mother's  birthday  on  Monday.  Come  along  !  there  is  no 
time  like  the  present ;  nor,  indeed,  any  other  than  the 
present.  The  remainder  consists  of  two  hypothetical 
eternities. — Yours  in  the  bond,  G.  W. 


750 

To  Philip  Hanson 

SAIGHTON,  1st  July  1910. 

MY  DEAR  P.  H., — I  had  been  wondering  when  I  should 
hear  from  you,  or  write  to  you,  and  had  been  talking  of 
you  to  my  Mother  and  Sibell  at  luncheon  two  or  three  days 
ago.  This,  no  doubt,  moved  you  to  write.  I  answer  at 
once,  partly  because  I  ought  to  be  thinking  of  the  lines  of 
a  beast  of  a  speech  to  3000  or  more  Unionist  and  Tariff 
Reform  Women  (!)  in  the  Queen's  Hall  on  Thursday  next. 

I  am  very  glad  you  liked  my  Army  Speech.  I  composed 
it  between  7  a.m.  and  9.30  a.m.  on  Sunday  morning,  and 
made  the  notes  on  Monday  morning,  and  let  it  off  that 
afternoon.  The  official  report  has  some  foolish  errors. 
They  were  cross  because  I  sent  my  notes  to  the  *  Times,' 
asking  that  organ  to  pass  them  on.  But  as  the  '  Times  ' 
did  not  do  so  till  past  11  p.m.,  the  official  reporter  paid 
me  out.  The  speech  took  one  hour  and  a  quarter  to 


396          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

deliver.     But  some  of  our  men  told  me  that  not  a  word  of 
it  could  have  been  spared. 

Haldane's  verbosity  and  shiftiness  was  superb  in  its  way. 
He  has  grown  idle.  He  sent  under  the  Gallery  three  or  four 
times,  and  could  not  master  the  information  supplied. 
A.  J.  B.  told  me  afterwards,  on  Wednesday,  that  my  speech 
alarmed  him.  I  asked  why,  and  he  answered  that  the 
logic  of  it  was  convincing  and  most  disturbing. 

As  you  say,  it  all  turns  on  the  '  sealed -pattern  '  raid  of 
70,000.  If  that — a  careful  revision  of  the  5000  to  10,000 
raid — is  bosh,  then  it  does  not  matter  even  if  the  Terri- 
torial Force  is  slosh  and  the  Special  Reserve  tosh.  But 
if  the  '  sealed-pattern  '  raid  is  a  thing  to  be  reasonably 
apprehended,  then  we  are  in  a  bad  hole.  And  if  Roberts 
is  right  hi  saying  that  it  might  be  150,000  v.  70,000,  then 
we  are  asking  for  it. 

Haldane's  attack  on  compulsion  served  the  purpose  of 
evading  any  reply  to  my  criticism  on  his  T.F.  reserve  and 
Veteran  reserve. 

The  true  inwardness  of  these  is  that  the  boom  in  recruit- 
ing for  the  T.F.  has  been  followed  by  a  slump.  I  know 
that  Esher  has  reported,  or  is  about  to  report,  that  he 
cannot  get  on  in  London  any  further.  So,  to  make  his 
numbers,  Haldane  squared  the  Press,  put  up  Ian  Hamilton 
to  slobber  over  some  Surrey  Veterans  on  the  Horse  Guards 
Parade,  and  launched  his  reserves.  He  takes  33%  of  the 
T.F.  Establishment =41%  of  its  strength,  i.e.  the  whole 
proportion  who  really  do  15  days'  training,  and  says 
that  if  they  go  into  the  reserve  after  four  years,  they  may 
shoot  off  twenty  rounds  at  the  public  expense,  and  need 
not  do  any  more  drill  or  training  at  all !  It  is  sublime  ! 

The  Irish  names  in  your  letter  thrill  me.  I  am  delighted 
to  hear  of  Downing's  Bay  and  Kincashlagh.  We  liked 
both  places.  How  I  wish  it  were  ten  years  ago  ! 

Horace  Plunkett  is  going  to  spend  Sunday  here  on  his 
way  back  to  Ireland. 

I  am  sick  at  the  University. 

Nobody  knows  what  will  happen  in  the  Autumn.  I, 
myself,  believe  that  Asquith  will  manage  somehow  to  play 


TO  HILAIRE  BELLOC  397 

the  Coronation  and  Imperial  Conference  off  against  his 
malcontents  for  another  year's  peace  in  office,  and  that 
Redmond  will  say  of  the  Budget,  '  No  matter,  let  it  pass, 
a  ti-ime  will  come  !  ' 

You  must  come  here  in  September. — Yours  ever, 

GEORGE  W. 


751 

To  Hilaire  Belloc 

SAIGHTON,  20th  July  1910. 

MY  DEAR  BELLOC, — I  came  here  to  see  the  Chester 
Pageant  and  found  my  garden  in  July  which  I  had  watched 
in  January.  So  I  wrote  a  transcendental  sonnet,  based 
on  Byron.  As  you  detest  transcendental  belief,  I  will 
inflict  it  on  you,  as  thus  : — 

JANUARY— JULY 

'When  the  stars  twinkle  through  the  loops  of  Time.' 

Childe  Harold. 

We  starved  for  snowdrops,  now  the  privet's  bloom 
Adds  pungence  to  the  pageantry  of  change 
From  tenderest  green  to  purple  and  the  mange 

Of  lilies  that  but  blossom  to  their  doom. 

To  bud,  flower,  breed  ;  fight,  build,  out  of  the  gloom, 
Are  incidents  of  struggling  with  the  strange 
Which  plant,  beast,  man,  unravel  in  their  range 

To  clarion  calls  of  '  more  light '  and  more  room. 

Our  triune  tragedy  accords  the  chime 

Of  Beauty's  incantation  as  we  build 
Her  parapets  compacted  out  of  slime  : 

Our  shatter'd  arcs  declare  what  she  has  will'd 
'  When  the  stars  twinkle  through  the  loops  of  Time ' 

And  flash  eternity  on  the  poor  kill'd. 

This  will  give  you  a  headache. — Yours  ever,  G.  W. 


398          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

752 

To  Hilaire  Belloc 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
2Qth  July  1910. 

MY  DEAR  BELLOC, — I  came  here  this  afternoon.  In  the 
train  I  finished  Chesterton's  '  What 's  Wrong  with  the 
World.'  When  I  told  you  the  other  day  that  I  did  not  care 
for  it  so  much  as  I  care  for  his  other  work,  I  had  only  read 
the  first  half.  I  find,  now,  that  I  have  dog's-eared  all  the 
last  half,  blazing  my  track,  and  turned  down  only  one 
page  in  the  first  half.  It  is  a  big  book  when  finished. 
And  note,  it  is  finished  before  the  little  appendix  with  a 
reference  to  my  Irish  Land  Act.  But  for  that,  I  was  on 
the  point  of  writing  to  him  myself.  Not  that  I  have  any 
modesty.  I  should  like  some  day  to  tell  him  and  you  what 
a  lot  of  smashing  I  had  to  do  to  get  that  act  made.  I 
agree  with  him  that  '  Jones's  garden '  is  the  goal  and 
momentum  of  my  reaction  and  his  revolution.  We  both 
want  the  same  thing  for  the  same  reasons.  But — well, 
let  me  put  it  in  this  way — the  family  lawyer,  the  manager 
of  the  Bank  of  Ireland,  the  young  man  whom  Lord  Ash- 
bourne  would  job  into  the  office  of  deeds,  but  for  the  Land 
Act,  the  orphans  and  widows — acting  through  solicitors — 
who  had  borrowed  on  the  expectation  of  remainder-men 
— an  expectation  destroyed  when  we  bully  and  bribe  the 
tenant  for  life  to  sell  out,  and,  probably,  the  second  cousin 
to  a  young  man  in  the  office  of  Crown  and  Hanaper  are — 
each  one  of  them — just  Jones  with  a  garden.  When  you 
barge  in  as  I  did  you  blight  their  gardens.  That  amount 
of  splintering  is  nothing  compared  to  the  stocks  and 
shares  business  ;  the  commissions  to  the  Bank  of  Eng- 
land for  floating  the  stock,  the  commissions  to  the  national 
debt  Commissioners  (and  rightly  so  called)  for  managing 
the  loan,  the  commissions  to  the  Bankers,  and  brokers  and 
jobbers  (again  named  as  poets  name) — here  is  the  rub. 
(I  pray  you  not  to  fly  off  on  the  Anglo- Judaic  oligarchy.) 

I  do  not  believe  that  the  rub  is  with  the  landlord.     You 


TO  HILAIRE  BELLOC  399 

and  Chesterton  hold  the  opposite  view.  I  wish  we  could 
talk  it  all  out  one  day.  You  and  he  know  facts  which  I 
don't  know,  and  I  know  facts  which  you  don't  know,  and 
it  is  on  our  ignorance  that  Sidney  Webb  and  his  active 
consort  build  their  gaols  and  penitentiaries. 

Chesterton's  excellent  recapitulation,  page  283,  breaks 
down,  I  believe,  on  the  usurious  landlord. 

At  any  rate  the  big  landlords  are  not  the  usurious  land- 
lords. Mind  you,  I  am  not,  therefore,  in  favour  of  big 
landlords.  I  want  many  small  land-owners. 

But  I  want  Chesterton  to  consider  this.  The  big  land- 
lord, as  such,  owns  in  land  a  property  that  is  worth  less, 
even  absolutely,  and  relatively  far  less  than  it  was  worth 
150  years  ago.  But,  when  it  was  worth  more  absolutely, 
and  far  more  relatively,  he  invested  his  savings,  first  in 
consols,  then  in  British  railways,  now  in  outlandish  enter- 
prises and  the  municipal  loans  of  Mexican  cities.  Still, 
as  a  landlord  he  prevents  the  conditions  which  determinate 
the  hair-cutting  business. 

On  the  other  hand,  the  men  who  prepare  the  way  for 
destroying  the  glory  of  dear  little  English  girls,  are  those 
who  trafficked  in  the  '  agiotage  '  of  outlandish  enterprises, 
and  lent  money  to  rich  boys,  and,  at  last,  bought  landed 
property.  This  they  treated  precisely  as  a  Financier 
treats  the  bonds  of  a  Mexican  corporation. 

Now,  I  believe  that  you  can  get  the  Landlords  to  sell 
their  land,  and  be  English.  '  Young  England '  and 
'  Merry  England  '  are  ideas. 

But  investment,  and  re-investment,  are  simply  devilish 
*  paperasseries  '  to  which  English  landlords  are  seduced 
and  driven.  God  knows  what  they  are  doing  and  piling 
up  for  the  vengeance  of  other  centuries.  They  don't 
know.  How  should  they  ?  But  they  do  know  that  their 
fathers  loved  the  English  and  were  loved  by  them.  And 
they  still  love  the  English.  I  would  use  that  love. 

If  the  Noailles  gave  up  their  titles  because  they  were 
French,  the  big  English  landlords  will  give  up  their  land 
because  they  are  English. 

What  they  resent  is  having  their  money  taken — not 


400          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

their  land — in  order  to  pepper  the  country  with  Sidney 
Webb's  penitentiaries.  They  also  resent — and  I  am 
absolutely  with  them  in  that — having  their  son  disin- 
herited from  his  home  in  order  that  Sidney  Webb  may 
live  in  it,  as  Lord  High  Gaoler,  and  conduct  experimental 
slavery  in  their  park.  If  I  am  forced  to  choose  :  I  prefer 
a  herd  of  fallow-deer  to  a  labour  colony  for  people  who 
refuse  to  become  teetotallers. 

The  mere  knowledge  that  there  are  fallow-deer  in  the 
parish  and  the  off-chance — not  of  shooting  them,  for  this 
is  a  degenerate  age,  but  of  trying  to  pat  them,  might  be 
something  in  any  boy's  life.  On  the  other  hand,  the 
knowledge  that  his  father — because  he  frequented  the 
4  Bald-headed  Stag  ' — was  to  water  beans  with  a  chemical 
solution  in  the  park,  would  be  a  desolating  reflection  even 
for  the  young  people  in  a  County  Council  school. 

But  why  this  choice  ?  Why  not  more  homes,  and  more 
properties,  with,  as  a  corollary,  more  publicities  ? 

I  will  now  inflict  the  last  version  of 

AUGUST  TO  DECEMBER 

We  saw  the  lilies  die.     St.  Michael's  daisies 
Clanged  purple  to  the  gladiolus  red  : 
They  told  the  tale  of  all  the  flowers  had  said, 

To  make  joy  sure  before  the  autumn  hazes. 

The  winds  were  mists  of  silence  in  the  mazes 

Of  songless  woods.     The  dank  leaves  dripp'd.     A  dread 
Came  when  the  choir  of  birds,  pack'd  overhead, 

Were  dumbly  bent  on  flights  beyond  our  gazes. 

What  is  there  left  to  care  for  ?     Wastes  of  snow 
Betray  the  tracks  of  beasts,  but  bear  no  life. 

Their  record  prophesies  the  earth's  last  woe 
When  utter  cold  shall  seal  the  pulse  of  strife. 

No,  look !     The  dawn  breaks  in  a  bloodier  glow 
Of  passionate  hearths  and  battles  to  the  knife. 

I  shall  go  to  London  on  Monday,  44  Belgrave  Square, 
and  return  here  on  Tuesday. — Yours  ever,  G.  W. 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  401 

P.S. — If  you  say  of  my  sonnet  that  it  is 

'  built  beyond  mortal  thought 
Far  in  the  unapparent ' 

I  shall  take  it  as  a  compliment.     It  is  a  compliment  which 
I  pay  to  Chesterton,  when  I  don't  agree  with  him. 

753 

To  his  Mother 

ST.  GILES'S  HOUSE, 
SALISBURY,  August  30th,  1910. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  loved  getting  your  telegram 
on  my  old  birthday.  I  am  alive  and  kicking  after  a  great 
excursion  into  parts  of  France  that  I  knew  nothing  of  before. 
Belloc  telegraphed  to  me,  '  Will  you  come  to  France  on 
Wednesday  for  two  or  three  days  ?  '  I  telegraphed  back, 
*  Done  with  you,'  and  on  Wednesday  last  we  started  from 
Charing  Cross  at  9  p.m.  each  with  only  a  small  hand-bag 
besides  the  clothes  we  stood  up  in.  I  did  not  know  where 
we  were  going ;  nor  did  he.  But  he  had  in  his  head 
some  places  he  wished  to  see.  We  reached  Paris  at  6.15 
Thursday  morn,  drove  across  to  the  P.L.M.,  had  a  cup  of 
coffee  and  caught  the  7.10  South.  We  travelled  third 
class  in  a  crowded  train,  admiring  the  babies  and  discuss- 
ing the  crops  with  our  companions.  We  also  hailed,  each 
time  we  saw  it,  the  great  road  from  Rome  to  Paris,  and 
looked  with  awe  at  the  mounded  hill  of  Alexia  where 
Julius  Csesar  conquered  Vercingetorix.  We  talked  of  the 
Senones  who  over-ran  Asia  Minor  from  what  is  now  Sens. 
And  all  the  time  with  a  railway-guide  and  map  we  debated 
what  we  should  do.  At  last  we  settled  to  get  out  of  the 
train  at  Blaisy-Bas,  12.30  p.m.,  and  march  right  over  the 
hills  down  into  the  Burgundian  Vineyards  of  the  C6te-d'or. 
We  sent  our  bags  on  by  train,  round  the  hills  to  Gevrey- 
Chambertin,  and,  at  12.45,  swung  off  on  foot  up  into  the 
Forest.  We  tried  a  track  marked  on  the  map,  but,  as 
eight  years  have  passed  since  the  map  was  made,  the  track 
was  interlaced  with  boughs.  We  had  to  push  through  like 
VOL.  ii.  2  c 


402          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

rhinoceroses,  taking  turn  about  to  lead.  In  the  end  we 
were  beaten  by  the  growth  of  underwood  and  had  to  strike 
west  by  the  sun,  to  get  the  driving  path.  We  struck  it, 
emerging  from  the  tangled  wood  on  a  height  that  over- 
looked the  wide  valley  of  the  Ouche  [a  river]  ;  the  view  was 
like  Costa's  Assisi,  only  on  a  wider  scale.  Below  we  could 
see  two  little  hamlets  we  had  to  pass,  and  beyond  the  pine- 
covered  heights.  We  had  to  cross  two  more  ridges  and 
then  the  descent  guessed  on  the  far  side  20  miles  away. 
It  was  a  baking  hot  day.  We  passed  a  holy  well  with  a 
bronze  bust  of  St.  Bernard  over  it  against  the  burning 
deep  blue  sky.  At  Pralons,  a  little  hamlet,  we  drank  beer 
and  talked  to  its  seller.  Of  the  well,  he  said — cautiously 
(for  religion  is  a  ticklish  affair  in  France  just  now) — '  C'est 
de  Panciennete.  Autrefois  il-y-avait  un  seigneur  au 
Couvent.'  The  vines  have  been  spoilt  by  this  awful 
summer.  Of  the  prospective  vintage  he  said,  '  For  this 
year  there  is  what  calls  itself  nothing — Pour  cette  annee 
il-y-a  ce  qui  s'appelle  rien.'  We  only  rested  a  few  minutes 
and  then  pushed  on  to  our  bridge — the  Pont  de  Pany— 
over  the  Ouche,  which  we  reached  at  4.15.  Then  we  toiled 
up  a  wonderful  road  that  left  the  river  and  canal  of  Bur- 
gundy and  wound  like  a  snake  past  low  cliffs  up  to  the 
crest  of  that  ridge,  about  2000  feet  high.  Here  there  was 
an  undulating  plateau.  At  Uray  (beer  again),  reached  at 
6  p.m.,  we  could  see  the  next  valley,  and  got  another  short 
cut  by  track  over  fields  and  up  to  the  crest  of  the  next 
ridge  and  over  to  Champ-de-bceuf,  another  little  home- 
stead. It  was  dark,  for  the  night  falls  sooner  and  more 
suddenly  in  the  South.  The  stars  were  marvellous  and 
the  Milky  Way  and  all  about  the  glow-worms  shone.  But 
We — for  the  moment — were  beat  and  our  legs  too  stiff  to 
move,  so  three-quarters  of  a  mile  beyond  Champ-de-boeuf 
we  threw  ourselves  on  the  ground  and  looked  up  at  the 
stars  through  the  leaves  of  a  little  chestnut  tree.  Then 
we  rubbed  our  legs  and  swung  down  the  road  by  a  gigantic 
ravine — a  black  chasm  on  our  right,  with  high  cliffs  on  our 
left.  We  sang  all  the  songs  we  could  remember,  and  at 
8.30  saw  a  light  in  the  valley.  That  was  Gevrey-Cham- 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  403 

foertin,  t  where  the  wine  comes  from.'  We  reached  the 
little  Inn  at  8.45,  after  walking  for  eight  hours  and  doing 
between  22  and  23  miles.  It  was  good  to  eat  and  drink. 
The  station — two  miles  off —was  shut,  so  we  rolled  into  bed 
without  any  change  of  clothes  in  a  hostel  which  was  much 
the  same  sort  of  gite  as  any  occupied  by  anybody  from  the 
time  of  Hadrian  down  the  centuries.  I  woke  at  five,  they 
got  our  bags  by  seven.  We  went  to  the  station  and  took 
the  little  local  train  along  to  C6te-d'or,  past  Mirts-St. 
George  and  Pouilly  and  all  the  vineyards  to  Beaune  at 
10.30.  There  we  saw  the  church  and  belfry  and  hospital 
of  15th  century,  and  eat  and  took  a  motor  and  shot  100 
kilometres  North  by  West  into  '  le  Morvan,'  a  wild  upland, 
3000  feet  high  of  forest  and  mountain,  more  like  Wales 
than  France.  Then  we  walked  again  three  hours  to 
Avallon,  a  little  town  on  a  peak.  The  forest  was  full  of 
large  red  slugs.  Just  as  Avallon  appeared  like  a  vignette, 
a  storm  burst  on  us.  We  took  refuge  in  a  wayside  cottage 
and  made  the  children  dance.  Then  we  climbed  up  and 
arrived  like  draggled  rats  at  the  H6tel  du  Chapeau  rouge. 
The  coiffeur  next  door  by  a  few  dexterous  strokes  of  his 
comb  transformed  me  into  the  image  of  a  retired  Colonel 
of  French  chasseurs.  I  let  him  have  his  way,  which  in- 
cluded waxing  my  moustachios  into  two  sharp  spikes. 
I  woke  at  5.30  and  began  to  mobilise  at  6,  and  started  soon 
after.  We  walked  till  10.30,  when  we  reached  the  wall 
of  the  wonderful  pinnacled  town  of  Vezelay,  where  St.  Ber- 
nard preached  the  2nd  Crusade  to  Louis  vii.  and,  Conrad 
on  31st  March  1146. 

O  my  1  What  a  church  !  Byzantine  and  rebuilt  just 
after  that  crusade.  The  XHth  century.  One  ot  the 
Councils  of  the  Empire  met  there.  Our  Cceur-de-lion 
was  there,  too,  before  the  3rd  Crusade.  And  now  it  has 
800  inhabitants  only  and  is  sound  asleep,  dreaming  of  the 
past.  At  1  we  got  a  little  trap  and  drove  to  a  railway. 
Vezelay  is  what  it  is  because  it  is  far  from  any  railway. 
We  travelled  3rd  class  till  4.30,  then  got  out  and  walked 
for  three  hours  to  Auxerre  with  its  three  great  churches. 
We  meant  to  go  on  at  9  by  train  to  Melun.  But  no. 


404          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

We  eat  and  drank  and  slept.  We  started  at  six  and 
caught  the  7  a.m.  to  Paris  on  Sunday.  Arrived  at  10.30, 
Saw  the  Luxembourg  and  Pantheon,  and  traced  the  old 
Roman  road  and  the  spot  where  the  first  Frenchman  re- 
entered  Paris  after  Jeanne-d'Arc  had  turned  the  tide  of 
war.  I  left  Belloc,  caught  the  4  p.m. — slept  to  Boulogne, 
Dined  on  board,  reached  Charing  Cross  at  11,  and  came 
here  by  the  8.50  yesterday — motoring  out  from  Salisbury 
as  I  had  promised  Cuckoo  to  celebrate  my  Birthday  with 
her. 

Now  was  not  that  a  good  scamper  ? 

I  will  see  you  and  dearest  Papa  this  week. — Your  most 
loving  son,  GEORGE. 

754 

To  his  Mother 

SAIGHTON, 
September  8th,  1910. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  am  hard  at  work  on  my 
Rectorial  Address.  I  take  a  run  in  the  garden  before 
breakfast.  Work  from  10  to  1  o'clock,  run,  lunch,  ride, 
and  then  work  from  4  to  8  o'clock,  dine,  and  then  think 
till  11.30. 

It  takes  a  power  of  thinking  to  decide  on  a  track  through 
a  forest  of  delightful  lore,  in  which  it  is  all  but  impossible 
not  to  lose  oneself. 

I  shall  not  write  till  Monday,  leaving  myself  three  weeks 
in  which  to  write.  But  this  is  the  agonising  period.  I 
have  to  prevent  myself  from  writing,  and  to  curb  myself 
from  reading  too  much.  But  there  is  a  savage  joy  in 
reading,  and  noting,  as  one  does  during  the  preliminary 
stage. 

And  I  say  to  myself  that,  even  if  I  cannot  get  a  clear 
track,  still  I  shall  have  had  the  zest  of  reading — for  example 
— la  Chanson  de  Roland — and  much  else — a  little  library 
— with  a  devilish  racing-for-blood  concentration,  which  I 
cannot  get  except  when  I  am  preparing  to  write. 

I  know  la  Chanson  de  Roland.     I  sometimes  read  it. 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  405 

I  often  want  to  read  it  to  you  and  others.  But  I  can't  do 
this  unless  I  am  on  the  trail  to  get  my  scalp. 

Now  I  am  on  the  trail.  But  whether  I  can  make  the 
trail  endurable  to  an  audience  of  Edinburgh  Students  is  a 
question  which  cannot  be  answered  until  I  have  worked 
for  another  ten  days. 

I  will  not  allow  myself  to  write  until  I  have  reduced  what 
I  have  to  say  to  six,  or  at  most  seven,  definite  propositions, 
which  lead  the  one  to  the  other,  and  ultimately  compose 
into  a  truth. 

I  know  I  could  do  this  if  all  went  well.  And  I  think  I 
am  going  to  do  it.  If  I  don't  I  think  I  shall  have  had  a 
wonderful  four  weeks  of  exploring. 

I  can  tell  you  what  the  real  trouble  in  my  mind  is,  as 
thus  : — 

You  remember  Charles  Kingsley's  '  Madam  How  and 
Lady  Why.' 

Very  well ;  I  can  tell  them  How  Romance  came  into 
Europe  in  1050,  culminated  in  1150,  and  influenced  to  1550 
and  even  on  to  1600. 

I  can  almost  tell  them  Why : 

But  can  I  tell  them  What  it  was  ?  ?  ? 

That 's  the  point.  Prudence  suggests  that  I  should  only 
announce  the  How — sketch  the  Why — and  throw  out  the 
What  in  a  few  mystical  sentences. 

Still,  it  is  a  strange  thing  that  Europe  soon  after  1750 
began  to  feel  it  had  lost  something  it  could  not  spare 
(like  its  shadow  or  its  soul),  and  that  from  1800  till  now  it 
has  been  recovering  what  it  had  lost. 

Now  this  becomes  more  strange  and  significant  if  we 
admit,  as  we  must,  that  the  same  thing  happened  before 
on  a  greater  scale. 

And  the  whole  thing  becomes  deliriously  interesting 
when  you  find  that  all  the  business  of  Romance  was  written 
in  the  French  language,  in  England,  by  Normans,  who  had 
touched  Bretons  and  Welsh  on  the  West,  and  Arabs  in  the 
South  in  Spain,  and  in  the  East  owing  to  the  Crusades. 


406          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

It  is  almost  too  good  to  be  true. 

Yet  it  is  true  that  the  Chanson  de  Roland,  the  tale  of 
Troy,  the  tale  of  Thebes,  and  the  tale  of  Arthur,  all  the  lays 
of  Marie  de  France,  and  all  there  is — except  perhaps  the 
Alexander  tale — and  the  fables  about  animals — were  all 
written  in  England  between  1150  and  1220  by  Norman  and 
Southern  Frenchmen — and  Welshmen  who  wrote  French. 

And  that  all  this  happened  because  of  two  accidents. 

I.  Roland,  a  Frank,  overwhelmed  by  Basques  in  the 
Pyrenees,  was  Count  of  the  Breton  marches. 

II.  Henry  n.  married  Eleanor — the  divorced  wife  of 
Louis  vin. — who  brought  the  Troubadours  of  the  South,  and 
the  Tronveres  of  the  North,  into  England  and  through  Wales 
into  Ireland,  after  going  to  the  East  in  the  second  Crusade. 

Those  two  accidents  do  the  trick  of  *  Madam  How.' 
But  then  there  is  Lady  Why,  and  after  that  the  inscrut- 
able What  was  it  that  happened  ? 

That  being  in  my  mind  I  shall  refuse  to  Define  Romance 
and  set  out  to  Discover  it :  Citing  the  precedent  of  Colum- 
bus who  went  to  America  before  there  was  any  Map. — 
Your  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

755 

To  his  Father 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  September  17th,  1910. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  have  read  your  letters  and  en- 
closure on  the  Osborne  Judgment  with  interest.  Though 
busy  with  my  Address  I  keep  an  eye  on  what  passes.  I 
do  not  believe  that  the  House  of  Commons  will  reverse 
the  judgment,  but  am  rather  concerned  at  the  hot-heads 
of  the  Unionist  Party  plunging  in  favour  of  the  payment 
of  members.  That  would  be  a  lesser  evil  but  would  com- 
plete the  degradation  of  the  House. 

But — as  you  truly  say — I  do  find — it  may  be  foolish 
consolation — in  the  '  chapter  of  accidents  '  or,  as  I  would 
put  it,  in  the  complexity  of  incidents  that  make  up  national 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  407 

life  and  world-politics.  Any  one  of  these  may  suddenly 
absorb  public  attention,  and  the  business  of  Politicians 
consists  in  combining  them  into  groups  in  such  a  way  as 
to  counteract  separate  tendencies  towards  evil,  and  secure 
some  common  tendency  towards  good.  This  is  easier  said 
than  done. — Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

756 

To  his  Mother 

SAIGHTON, 
September  20th,  1910. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — It  was  good  of  you  to  send 
back  the  French  book  in  white  and  gold  binding.  I  lose 
some  books  that  I  can  ill  spare  and,  notably,  I  have  lost 
a  little  old  Latin  book,  '  Historia  Regum  Britanniae,'  by 
Geoffrey  of  Monmouth.  Luckily  I  remember  it,  since  it 
must  play  a  big  part  in  my  Address.  Possibly  I  am  better 
without  it.  For,  if  it  were  here,  I  should  find  something 
else  in  it  which  I  should  be  tempted  to  cram  into  the 
Address.  Anyway  *  it 's  gone,'  like  the  chicken  from  the 
ship  in  '  The  Lady  of  the  Aroostook.' 

I  am  sure  that  you  and  Papa  could  give  me  a  reference  I 
do  want :  for  the  story  is  one  of  our  old  favourites .  Who  ( ? ) 
was  it  who  said  what  (?)  on  a  Cumberland  mountain,  the 
gist  of  which  was  that  he  had  to  remember  the  cook-shop  (?) 
in  (?)  (London).  Was  it  Lamb  ?  If  you  can  give  me  the 
reference  I  will  send  to  the  London  Library  for  the  book. 
The  tedious  part  of  address- writing  is  that  one  has  to 
'  verify  one's  references  ' ;  and  nobody  knows  what  that  is 
till  they  Ve  tried  to  do  it. 

The  alarming  part  of  writing  an  Address  is  that  one  has 
to  write  a  book  afterwards.  An  Address  on  Ronsard  at 
Oxford  entailed  a  little  book.  This  Address  will  entail  a 
larger  book.  I  shall  be  driven  into  writing  a  book.  Just 
now  I  am  being  driven  into  writing  far  more  than  I  can  say 
in  an  hour.  I  shall  select  bits  out  of  it  for  the  Address. 
But  the  rest,  which  I  must  leave  out,  will  haunt  me  like  a 
ghost  till  I  lay  it  in  a  book. 


408          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

It  would  be  much  simpler  to  write  Poetry,  or  even  to 
paint  Pictures,  than  to  search  for  the  soul  of  Romance  by 
the  historical  method.  Still,  having  set  myself  that  task, 
I  mean  to  do  it,  and  to  limit  myself,  for  its  execution, 
to  the  tools  of  dry  historical  research. 

When  that  is  done  I  will  let  myself  out  in  a  book  and, 
when  that  is  done,  I  will  write  about  the  other  theme  of 
which  I  spoke  to  you. 

Meanwhile  you  may  assure  Papa  that  this  kind  of  work 
does  not  unfit  me  for  dealing  with  the  Osborne  Judgment. 
On  the  contrary — I  wanted  a  quiet  six  weeks  of  reading 
and  thinking — and  shall  be  all  the  better  for  them  poli- 
tically.— Your  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

P.S. — Have  just  heard  from  Perf  at  Hythe.  He,  too,  is 
in  a  lodging  by  the  sea  as  I  was  in  1884.  It  was  then  that 
I  bought  a  pearl  pin  to  wear  in  a  black  tie  because  of 
national  mourning  for  Prince  Leopold.  I  gave  you  that 
pin  when  I  went  to  the  Soudan  the  next  year.  And  you 
gave  it  back  to  me  when  I  returned.  And  it  is  still  the  pin 
that  I  wear,  in  a  white  tie,  when  I  hunt.  I  shall  hunt 
every  day  in  the  week  after  the  Address.  Then  I  shall 
make  speeches  on  the  7th,  8th  and  9th  of  November. 
Hunting  and  literature  are  not  incompatible  with  politics. 
Henry  of  Anjou — (our  Henry  n.) — who  made  the  Empire 
from  the  Pyrenees  to  the  Grampians  always  had  '  a  bow 
or  a  book  in  his  hand.' 


757 
To  Mrs.  Drew 


SAIGHTON, 
September  22nd,  1910. 


MY  DEAR  MARY, — Many  thanks  for  the  elegiac  couplet. 
It  is  quite  beautiful,  and  quite  untranslatable. 

I  have  written  my  first  attempt  over  the  page. — Yours 
affectionately,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 

Lead  on,  too  well-beloved :  Go  happy  part 

Of  our  one  soul :  God  calls ;  but  teach  my  heart, 

Mourning  alone,  to  follow  where  thou  art. 


TO  MRS  DREW  409 

758 
To  Mrs.  Drew 

SAIGHTON, 
September  23rd,  1910. 

'  I,  nimium  dilecta  ;  vocat  Deus  ;  I  bona  nostrae 
Pars  animae;  moerens,  altera,  disce  sequi.' 

MY  DEAR  MARY, — You  little  knew  what  you  were  *  in 
for  '  when  you  sent  me  that  perfect  elegiac  couplet.  You 
must  not  trouble  to  read  all  my  shots  at  translating  the 
untranslatable.  But  apart  from  gratitude  for  its  evasive 
loveliness,  I  want  to  thank  you  for  giving  me  a  '  whetstone 
for  wit '  *  cos  ingeniorum  '  just  when  I  needed  one.  Now, 
at  odd  moments,  I  sharpen  and  exercise  my  wit  on  '  I, 
nimium  dilecta,  etc.,'  instead  of  blunting  and  tiring  it  by 
mumbling  the  Rectorial  Address,  if  that  ever  became  some- 
thing saner  than  Casaubon's  '  Key  to  all  the  Mythologies  ' 
— was  it  ?  in  Middlemarch  ? — so  fortunate  a  result  will  be 
due  to  my  possession  of  and  by  '  I,  nimium,  etc.,'  for  that 
affords  a  strenuous  relaxation  and  that  was  your  gift. 
Thanks  to  it,  the  rectorial  has  made  strides.  Many  pages 
have  been  re-written  that  are  at  least  intelligible  and  some- 
times melt  into  lucidity.  After  that  exordium  I  must  tell 
you  what  has  happened  in  my  leisure,  since  I  received  the 
couplet. 

It  seemed  to  me  that  there  were  only  two  things  to  be 
done  with  it :  either  to  forget  its  form  and  attempt  an 
original  English  poem  on  its  theme,  or  else  to  aim  at  the 
most  literal  translation  compatible  with  the  retention  of 
an  English  rhythm. 

I  have  not  tried  the  first.  But  who  knows  ?  That  may 
follow  the  effort  at  translation.  So  far,  I  have  tried  my 
hand  only  at  translation. 

I  have  always  felt  that  in  a  translation  two  rules  must 
be  observed.  The  translator  must  try  to  echo  the  form, 
e.g.  he  must  not  turn  a  couplet  into  a  quatrain.  If  the 
original  is  a  couplet,  a  couplet  he  must  write.  The  other 
rule  is  that  he  must  try  to  express  all  the  meaning  of  the 
original  and  add  nothing  to  it. 


410          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

Within  those  limits  he  must  seek  to  obey  Rossetti's  general 
injunction,  viz.  '  not  to  turn  a  good  poem  into  a  bad  one.' 

All  this  is,  of  course,  impossible.  But  that  is  why  it 
supplies  so  excellent  a  whetstone  for  wit. 

If  '  I,  nimium  '  is  to  be  translated  at  all,  the  translation 
must  be  a  compromise  between  a  complete  and  exclusive 
rendering  of  the  Latin's  meaning,  on  the  one  hand,  and  a 
decent  approach  to  English  rhythm  on  the  other.  And 
that  compromise  must  be  contained  in  a  couplet. 

I  am  still  vacillating  between  two  alternative  com- 
promises. 

If  the  translation  is  to  be  more  literal  in  its  meaning 
than  English  in  its  rhythm,  it  would  run  : 

'  Go,  too  beloved  ;  God  calls.     Go,  our  soul's  happier  part, 
That  other  grief  shall  learn  to  follow  where  thou  art.' 

But  if  the  translation  is  to  be  more  English  in  its  rhythm 
to  English  ears,  and  more  lucid  in  its  syntax  to  English 
minds,  it  would  run  : 

'  Go,  too  beloved  ;  God  calls,  our  soul's  more  happy  part  : 
What's  left  shall  learn  from  grief;  I  '11  follow  where  thou  art.' 

Sibell  prefers  the  last. 

I  think  I  am  right  in  translating  '  bona  '  by  '  happy/ 
'  Bona,'  of  course,  means  '  good.'  But  the  word  for '  good  r 
in  all  languages  often  stands  for  '  lucky,'  or  '  happy  ' — 
which  is  the  same,  with  greater  dignity.  Certainly  in  a 
celebrated  Latin  line — '  O  Fortunati  nimium  bona  si  sua 
ndrint ' — '  bona  '  means  '  happiness.'  The  author  of  our 
couplet  probably  had  that  line  singing  in  the  back  of  his 
head,  as  he  puts  both  'nimium'  and  'bona'  into  his  first  line. 

Again,  if  '  happy  '  be  justifiable  as  a  translation  of  the 
Lathi  meaning,  '  more  happy  '  is  justifiable  in  respect  of 
English  rhythm,  for  it  is  taken  from  Keats'  '  Ode  to  a 
Grecian  Urn.' 

Probably  the  first  course,  which  I  have  not  attempted,  is 
the  best,  viz.  to  forget  the  form  of  '  I,  nimium  '  and  write 
an  English  poem  on  its  theme.  '  Manet  sors  tertia  caedi  r 
— i.e.  '  take  a  licking  '  and  leave  the  Latin  as  it  stands. — 
Yours  affectionately,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 


TO  PHILIP  HANSON  411 


759 

To  Philip  Hanson 

SAIGHTON,  30.ix.10. 

MY  DEAR  P.  H., — I  was  beginning  to  miss  any  news  of 
you,  and  beginning  to  hope  that  you  might  propose  a 
meeting  here.  But  *  mea  culpa  '  I  ought  to  have  written 
to  you  long  ago  and  urged  you  to  come.  My  thoughts, 
like  yours,  have  been  turning  back  to  old  days.  The  sun- 
light here  for  the  past  ten  days  carried  me  back  ten  years. 
You  and  Norman  and,  I  think,  Ian  Malcolm,  played  lawn 
tennis  with  me  here  in  the  sun,  before  we  dreamed  of 
leaving  the  W.O.  And  when  November  comes  it  will  be 
ten  years  since  you  and  I  sailed  over  a  blue  sea  to  Ireland 
with  the  collie-dog  Chief — a  little  puppy  in  a  basket — on 
the  deck. 

*  The  days  that  I  regret 

Are  those  that  are  no  more.' 

But  they  were  good  days  ;  and  I  knew  it  at  the  time,  so  I 
have  no  remorse,  only  regret. 

I  wish  you  could  pop  over  for  even  one  of  the  sort  of 
days  we  put  up  with  now.  Let  me  forecast  the  immediate 
future  to  that  end,  before  I  relate  the  immediate  past.  I 
go  to  London  Monday  night  and  return  here  Wednesday 
night,  5th  October.  That  would  be  a  good  moment,  or 
any  other  till  Tuesday  llth,  when  I  go  to  London  and  on 
to  Clouds  to  celebrate  my  Father's  and  my  Mother's 
Golden  Wedding.  I  return  on  the  17th  and  that  would  be 
a  good  moment  for  a  glimpse  of  you.  Early  in  the  next 
week  I  go  to  Whittinghame  and  deliver  my  Address  at 
Edinburgh  on  Friday  28th.  I  return  the  next  day,  29th, 
D.V.,  and  *  in  any  case  '  on  Monday  31st.  That  would 
do  well,  but  not  so  well,  because  I  then  replunge  into 
politics  and  hunting.  This  I  have  not  done  for  many 
weeks,  and  am  too  rusty  to  answer  your  questions.  Now 
I  relate  the  immediate  Past.  I  took  a  month  of  violent 
holiday-making  after  the  Session.  Played  polo  hard  here 


412          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

till  the  15th  August.  Went  to  South  Wales  and  bathed  in 
the  sea.  Went  to  France  with  Belloc  and  walked  miles 
and  miles  over  hills  to  Burgundy  and  back  by  V6zelay, 
where  St.  Bernard  preached  the  second  Crusade.  Went 
to  St.  Giles  and  Clouds,  and  got  here  on  September  5th. 
Since  then  I  have  worked  at  my  Address  every  day  like 
a  miner  in  the  bowels  of  the  earth,  and  have  forgotten — 
pro  tern. — all  about  politics.  I  have  been  in  the  valley  of 
the  shadow  of  composition,  which  is  darker  than  any  sub- 
terranean gallery  and  less  securely  propped. 

Halt  sunt  li  pui  e  tenebrus  e  grant 
Li  val  parfunt  e  les  ewes  curanz. 

This  is  not  madness  : — 

High  are  the  peaks  and  shadow-gloomed  and  vast, 
Profound  the  valleys  where  the  torrents  dash. 

Nor  is  this.  It  is  an  attempt  at  the  meaning  and  sound  of 
two  lines  in  the  Song  of  Roland. 

I  have  thought  of  nothing  but  the  subject  of  my  Address 
since  the  5th  of  September.  I  say  the  subject  advisedly. 
For,  provided  I  can  make  the  Address  tolerable,  even  to 
Scotchmen,  I  am  using  the  lull  of  the  Conference  to  learn 
all  that  appertains  to  a  book  which  I  mean  to  write.  It 
will  follow  on  to  the  *  Ronsard  '  and  '  Walter  Scott.'  That 
is  to  say,  its  province  will  be  early  French  literature,  and 
its  aim,  another  definition  of  Romance,  reached  by  the 
historic  method. 

I  wish  you  could  come  for  a  day  and  join  in.  I  have 
just  read  the  first  half  to  brother  Guy,  who  is  here  till 
Monday.  He  prefers  it  to  the  Glasgow  address,  and, 
indeed,  if  simplicity  can  be  reached  by  agony,  this  should 
be  a  white  lamb  by  comparison  with  that  black  and  hairy 
Buffalo. 

After  all  let  me  remember,  for  my  peace,  that  in  this 
address  I  am  not  taking  on  the  History  of  the  World,  but 
only  four  centuries — 1050  to  1450 — confined  to  Western 
Europe — and  tied  down  to  literature.  For  the  moment, 
my  lamb  is  tied  too  tight ;  but,  when  I  have  got  the 


TO  PHILIP  HANSON  413 

sequence  of  propositions  in  the  only  order,  I  shall  allow 
that  little  lamb  to  frisk  and  caper  like  a  goat. 

To  change  the  metaphor  :  after  the  historic  work,  I 
mean  for  my  own  delectation  to  soar  from  the  earth  into 
the  '  blue  inane  '  of  metaphysics,  like  an  airman  (see 
*  Daily  Mail '  pattern).  But,  instead  of  coming  down 
with  a  bump  to  the  ground,  I  shall  disappear  '  Far  in  the 
unapparent '  (see  Shelley's  '  Adonais  '). 

Now  am  not  I  well  '  Hedged  '  ?  I  believe  it  will  take 
an  hour  to  speak  the  historic  part.  Very  well,  then  I 
shall  have  all  the  fun  to  myself,  and  will  make  a  book  of 
it.  That  is  my  plan.  But  if  I  can  pack  the  history  into 
45  minutes,  the  Scots,  who  like  their  metaphysics,  will 
have  to  stomach  mine ;  or  howl  me  down.  In  either 
case  we  go  off  to  luncheon  together  at  the  Union  when  the 
Address  has  been  delivered,  or  interrupted. 

More  than  enough  of  myself.  You  must  not  take  '  the 
forties  '  to  heart.  When  I  had  them,  badly,  in  1905,  you 
helped  me  as  much  as  any  man  has  been  helped  by  another 
man.  What  you  feel  I  have  felt.  But,  now  that  I  am 
within  three  years  of  being  fifty,  I  feel  much  better. 

I  cannot  write  of  the  Conference  ;  but  I  am  grateful  for 
it.  I  love  the  lull.  I  am  very  sorry  to  hear  of  Lady 
Atkinson's  illness.  I  laughed  out  aloud  at  his  '  But  it  is 
not  padded.' 

I  think  you  ought  to  succeed  H and  outstrip  him 

in  the  end. 

I  am  to  speak  on  Politics  most  days,  on  and  after 
November  7th.  But  to-day,  and  to-morrow,  and  until 
October  the  28th,  I  am  bathing  in  the  '  Springs  of  Romance.' 
That  (but  this  is,  till  then,  a  secret)  is  the  short  title  of  my 
Address.  The  full  title  is 

THE 
SPRINGS  OF  ROMANCE 

IN  THE 
LITERATURE  OF  EUROPE 

Note  the  limitation.  I  have  tried  to  observe  it.  I  did 
not  mind  foregoing  Cathay.  But  to  leave  out  Architecture 


414          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

has  been  a  grim  business,  considering  that  St.  Bernard 
preached  the  second  Crusade  at  Vezelay — which  I  visited 
last  month — and  that  the  second  Crusade  explains  Romance, 
historically. — Yours  ever,  G.  W. 


760 

To  his  Sister,  Mary 


SAIGHTON, 
CHESTER,  6.x.  10. 


MY  DARLING  CHANG, — The  great  point  is  that  we  shall 
all  5  be  together  at  Clouds  on  the  15th.1 

I  am  not  skilled  in  Heraldry,  but  I  like  it.  If  done  at 
all,  it  must  be  correct. 

One  thing  I  do  know,  and  that  is  that  no  woman  can 
have  a  crest.  Indeed,  in  the  case  of  a  married  woman  her 
husband  bears  her  arms  for  her.  It  seems  to  me  that 
this  would  not  only  be  correct,  but  appropriate,  to  a 
Golden  Wedding.  The  technical  term  is  that  the  husband 
impales  his  wife's  arms.  The  effect  is  like  this  : 

[Drawing] 
Au  Bon  Droit 

In  the  half  of  the  escutcheon  which  I  have  left  blank 
the  Campbell  arms  of  Mamma's  Father  should  be  dis- 
played in  full. 

A  woman  does  not  have  a  crest  because  she  is  not  sup- 
posed to  wear  a  helmet.  Her  husband  is  her  helmet  and 
her  shield.  So  long  as  he  lives,  her  arms  appear  beside 
his  on  one  shield.  Nor  does  a  woman  have  a  motto  ;  for 
that  is  a  war-cry. 

Before  marriage,  young  ladies,  and  after  marriage, 
widows,  display  their  arms,  not  on  a  shield,  but  on  a 
lozenge. 

1  For  the  Golden  Wedding  of  their  parents.  The  discussion  of  the  arms  was 
in  connection  with  the  presents  the  five  sons  and  daughters  were  preparing. 


TO  HIS  FATHER  415 

I  will  see  what  I  can  do  in  the  way  of  a  dedication. — 
Your  loving  brother,  GEORGE. 

P.S. — Minnie  has  some  other  idea.  But  I  hold  to  the 
bound  book.  It  should  be  made  of  paper,  or  parchment, 
and  leather  that  will  last  for  centuries. 


761 

To  Charles  Boyd 

SAIGHTON,  21.x.  10. 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — Your  letter  of  the  17th  reached 
me  to-day  and  was  welcome.  It  would  be  '  jolly  '  if  you 
reached  Edinburgh  for  the  Rectorial :  Percy  would  have 
said,  a  year  ago,  '  if  you  rolled  up  ;  '  now  he  would  say 
*  if  you  blew  in  ' — a  delightful  addition  to  the  vocabulary 
of  nonchalance. 

I  am  asking  Walter  Blaikie  to  send  you  a  '  confidential ' 
early  copy.  But,  if  you  do  '  blow  in  '  at  the  M'Ewan 
Hall,  do  not  read  it.  I  would  like — in  that  event — to 
know  from  a  trusty  and  truthful  comrade  whether  the 
thing  is  tolerable  as  a  spoken  Address.  I  think  it  is 
readable. 

In  speaking  it  I  shall  omit  all  quotations,  references, 
qualifications  and  botherations,  in  the  hope  of  presenting 
the  naked  argument. 

But  all  these  omissions  will  be  printed.  Otherwise 
many  and,  for  instance,  Andrew  Lang,  will  be  '  as  tire- 
some as  ever.' 

Blaikie  has  printed  it  magnanimously. — Yours  ever  in 
the  bond,  G.  W. 

762 

To  his  Father 

WHITTINGEHAME, 
PRESTONKIRK,  N.B.,  October  30th ,  1910. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  have  booked  December  1st  and 
2nd  for  shooting  at  Clouds. 


416          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

I  tried  Adey's  British  Cigars  and  liked  them  pretty  well 
for  a  time.  But  I  got  tired  of  them.  I  think  Havannahs 
are  the  best. 

I  am  posting  a  bound  copy  of  my  Address  to  Mamma. 
It  is  beautifully  printed.  Sibell  has,  I  know,  written 
her  impressions  of  the  scene,  the  interruptions  made  the 
delivery  a  strain  ;  but  I  managed  to  fire  off  a  good  deal  of 
it  and  all  the  end.  We  motored  out,  starting  at  9.30.  I 
saw  dear  aunt  Connie  1  and  Pamela  ;  and  had  quite  a 
company  of  close  supporters  in  the  front  row.  After  the 
Address  I  inspected  the  Officers'  Training  Corps  in  the 
quadrangle  and  said  a  few  words.  Then  Arthur  and  I 
were  photographed  in  many  groups.  Then  we  had  a 
huge  luncheon — about  250 — at  the  Union  and,  again,  a 
few  words  in  response  to  our  guests.  By  that  it  was  3.30 
and  we  were  due  at  the  General  Council  of  the  University, 
where  Arthur  took  the  Chair.  Then  to  tea  with  Sir 
Ludovic  Grant,  the  Regius  Professor  of  Law. 

I  got  an  hour  to  myself  before  dinner  and  composed 
my  next  speech.  I  dined  with  all  the  Professors  at  the 
Balmoral  Hotel.  The  dinner  is  called  the  Symposium 
Academicum.  The  other  guests  were  Lord  Finlay,  Lord 
Dunedin  and  Lord  Dundas.  We  turned  out  in  the  balcony 
to  see  the  Students'  Torch-light  procession — a  fine  sight 
like  the  Carnival — with  many  cars  and  mounted  men. 
The  dinner  lasted  from  8  to  11.30.  I  returned  thanks  for 
*  The  Students  '  as  their  representative  and  made  a  rather 
amusing  speech.  I  walked  back  to  the  North  British 
with  Hepburn  Millar,  now  a  professor  of  law,  who  used 
to  write  in  Henley's  paper  and  hails  me  as  a  comrade  in 
arms.  We  smoked  a  cigar  together.  He  is  a  Tory  of 
Tories.  I  took  a  walk  at  8.30  the  next  morning  and  had 
three  of  the  leading  Students  to  breakfast  with  me  at 
9  o'clock.  The  two  leaders  of  the  Conservative  and 
Liberal  party  and  the  President  of  the  Union.  They  were 
very  agreeable  and  we  had  quite  a  good  talk.  Then  I 
motored  here — where  the  strenuous  life  still  continues, 
urged  on  by  Sidney  Webb  and  Mrs.  Webb. 

1  Lady  Leconfield. 


TO  MRS.  DREW  417 

To-morrow  I  return  to  Saighton  for  a  week's  hunting  ; 
and  then  a  week's  politics.  Love  to  darling  Mamma. — 
Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

763 
To  Mrs.  Drew 

WHITTINGEHAME, 

October  3Ist,  1910. 

...  I  read  three  chapters  of  '  Martin  Eden  ' 1  last 
night,  and  read  it  right  through  to  the  end  to-day.  It  is 
a  big  book.  I  have  marked  many  pages.  Success  did 
not  come  too  late  to  M.  E.  If  it  had  come  a  few  weeks 
earlier,  he  would  have  married  the  false  fool ;  and  that 
would  have  been  hell  for  him  ;  not  because  she  was  false, 
but  because  she  was  so  little  in  every  way,  mind,  heart, 
body.  When  he  was  an  awkward  sailor  he  mistook  the 
absence  of  mind,  heart  and  body  for  the  presence  of  the 
soul.  The  author  may  have  lived  this  in  his  life  or  in 
his  imagination.  As  it  seems  true,  I  incline  to  the  belief 
that  he  lived  it  in  his  imagination.  Chaucer  could  make 
Emelye,  Creseyda  and  the  Wife  of  Bath  ;  Shakespeare 
could  make  Juliet  and  Lady  Macbeth  :  this  creative  busi- 
ness is  done  by  imagination,  not  by  suffering  life.  It  is  a 
protest  against  that  suffering.  What  I  believe  to  be  true 
is  that  the  author — at  present — is  under  the  spell  of 
Herbert  Spencer  and  Nietzsche.  If  he  had  read  poetry 
instead  of  biology,  Martin  Eden  would  not  have  climbed 
through  the  port-hole  at  the  end,  but  up  to  the  stars  and 
down  again. 

This  book  is  a  work  of  Art,  and,  like  all  works  of 
Art,  has  a  practical  value  which  is — mercifully — denied  to 
manuals  of  common  sense.  I  say  '  mercifully  '  because  I 
hope  they  will  all  perish  and  leave  the  field  some  day  to 
Imagination  and  Art. 

The  by-products  of  practical  value  are  twofold.  In  the 
first  place,  it  ought  to  be  read  by  every  young  lady  who 
contemplates  matrimony  :  in  the  second,  it  ought  to  be 

1  By  Jack  London. 
VOL.  II.  2  D 


418          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

read  by  every  poet  who  contemplates  publication.  The 
young  ladies  will  learn  what  they  are,  and  the  poets  will 
learn  a  great  deal  from  the  change  in  the  author's  style. 
At  the  beginning,  by  his  Americanisms  and  sham  culture, 
he  disgusts — as  he  meant  to  :  near  the  end  and  in  the 
middle  he  writes  the  language  which  belongs  to  the  truth 
that  transcends  nationality  and  sex  and  philosophies.  In 
the  last  six  pages  he  relapses  into  bosh — as  we  all  do  at 
moments  of  fatigue — and  relapses  the  more  deeply  because 
he  still,  doubtfully,  believes  in  Spencer,  and  still,  doubt- 
fully, admires  the  superman. 

I  infer  that  he  is  still  young  ;  still  so  young  that  he  can 
be  '  as  sad  as  night  for  very  wantonness.'  If  I  am  right, 
he  will,  in  middle  age,  cry  out,  *  Hang  up  Philosophy  ! 
Can  Philosophy  make  a  Juliet  ?  '  He  will  never  make  a 
*  Juliet '  or  a  '  Falstaff,'  but  he  will  make  some  people, 
and  is  somebody. 

764 
To  Mrs.  Drew 

SAIGHTON, 
November  1st,  1910. 

Your  dear  human  letter  is  opened  last  of  40  I  found  on 
my  return  to-night.  Sibell  tells  me  she  has  written  about 
the  Address.  The  youths  meant  well,  but  their  occasional 
interruptions,  paper  darts  and  snatches  of  song  would 
have  beat  me,  if  I  had  not  worked  so  hard  at  the  Address 
that  I  knew  it  by  heart,  and  believed  in  it  so  much  that 
I  made  them  listen  to  the  last  part,  after  sparing  them  a 
good  deal  of  the  history  and  all  the  qualifications. 

The  only  ones  who  really  made  a  noise  were  the  Officers' 
Training  Corps.  And  the  jolly,  illogical  fun  of  this  kind 
of  business  is  that  immediately  after  the  Address  I  in- 
spected them  in  the  quadrangle.  They  stood  up  like 
rocks  and  dared  not  blink  an  eyelid.  To  them — in  that 
capacity — I  was  a  grown  man  who  had  been  a  real  soldier 
— that  they  respected.  Romance  they  considered  exces- 
sive. Then  we  had  a  public  luncheon,  and  I  made  them 


TO  HIS  FATHER  419 

all  laugh.  Then  we  had  a  Genera]  Council  of  the  Uni- 
versity, and  A.  J.  B.  was  profoundly  perturbed  at  the 
suggestion  to  make  French  and  German  equivalent  to 
Greek  and  Latin.  As  I  discovered  that  the  General 
Council  has  no  power,  I  felt  calm.  For  the  time  being 
Universities  and  Courts  of  Law  are  not  democratic,  which 
is  as  much  as  to  say  the  puppets  of  Financiers  and  the 
halfpenny  Press. 

Then  Sibell  and  I  went  to  tea  with  the  Regius  Pro- 
fessor of  Law,  and  were  '  death  on  culture  in  Chicago  ' 
with  the  elect  of  Edinburgh,  all  in  *  Edinburgh  English.' 

Then  I  dined  with  all  the  Professors  and  made  them 
laugh  again.  Then  I  walked  back  to  my  Hotel  with 
Hepburn  Millar,  who  wrote  '  The  Literature  of  the  Kail- 
yard '  and  '  The  Bounder  in  Literature.' 

Then  I  had  the  students — 3  leaders — to  breakfast  with 
me  at  9  a.m.  on  Saturday,  and  thoroughly  enjoyed  myself. 

Then  I  motored  back  to  Whittingehame  and  liked  '  the 
Greek  Chorus  '  very  much. 

On  Sunday  I  played  lawn  tennis  with  the  Greek  Chorus 
in  a  grey  suit,  as  a  concession  to  the  Sabbath.  Then  I 
read  '  Martin  Eden  '  from  cover  to  cover. 

P.S. — And  all  the  time  A.  J.  B.  was  quite  delightful,  a 
perfect  host  and  friend. 


765 

To  his  Father 

SAIOHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  l.xi.10. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  will  send  a  bound  copy  of  the 
Address  to  dear  Aunt  Connie.  It  gave  me  great  pleasure 
to  see  her  there  with  her  smiling  face,  full  of  cleverness 
and  affection. 

I  enclose  a  letter  from  the  Student  (leader  of  their  Con- 
servative Party)  who  asked  me  to  stand  for  the  Lord 
Rectorship.  You  will  see  that  they  meant  very  well  by 
me,  in  all  their  proceedings. 


420 

The   3rd   leading   article   in   to-day's   *  Times '    is   on 
'  Romance  '  and  based  on  the  Address. 

I  did  mention  Homer,  as  an  exception,  and  the  '  Atys  ' 
of  Catullus  is  precisely  the  kind  of  thing  I  had  in  my  mind 
when  I  said  that  the  Romantic  touches  in  Classical  litera- 
ture were  (1)  mainly  in  the  earliest  or  latest  poems,  (2) 
all  in  poems  that  deal  with  alien  customs  and  supersti- 
tions. 

The  *  Atys  '  fulfils  both  conditions.  It  is  early,  before 
the  Augustan  epoch — and  deals  with  the  savage  rites  of 
religious  mutilation.  —Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 


766 

To  Philip  Hanson 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 

CHESTER,  3.xL10. 

MY  DEAR  P.  H., — Your  letter  gave  me  the  keenest 
pleasure.  I  was  looking  out  for  it  and  was  determined 
not  to  make  up  my  own  mind  about  the  Address  until  I 
had  heard  yours.  I  know  that  you  always  have  a  mind 
of  your  own  and  that  you  always  speak  it.  Imagine, 
then,  my  relief  at  hearing  from  you  that  it  was  '  sweet 
and  easy,  simple  and  firm.'  This  to  a  man  known  only 
to  write  in  Choktaw  !  I  care  for  your  appreciation  far 
more  than  for  the  reviews  in  the  Press.  They,  however, 
are  far  better  than  I  expected.  There  is  one  hi  the 
'  Saturday '  which  I  naturally  like  as  it  is  favourable. 
But  it  is  also  informed  and  I  don't  know  who  wrote 
it.  '  Birmingham  Post '  was  good,  but  obstinate  about 
Homer  ;  4  Daily  Telegraph  '  very  friendly  ;  '  Times  '  had 
a  column  ;  and  so  on. 

I  see  hi  to-day's  Literary  Supplement  of  the  '  Times  '  a 
review  of  Sidney  Lee's  book  on  Elizabethan  borrowings 
from  the  French.  They  mention  my  name.  But  Sidney 
Lee  borrowed  the  idea  from  my  early  article  in  '  Cosmo- 
polis.'  This  is  not  mentioned. 

I  hunted  Tuesday  and  to-day  after  dining  last  night 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  421 

with  the  Tarporley  Hunt  Club  and  amusing  them  in  a 
speech. 

But  now,  my  dear  Philip,  the  blackness  of  night  and 
Tariff  Reform  overshadows  the  next  seven  days.  I  must 
work  for  three,  then  on  Monday,  2.30,  I  take  the  chair  at 
a  '  Dumping  '  exhibition  in  Manchester,  speak  at  8  ;  move 
resolution  at  Conference  at  11.30  Tuesday  morning ;  and 
take  meeting  at  Bolton  on  Thursday. 

I  hate  politics  more  and  more,  and  specially  after  seven 
weeks  of  pure  Letters.  What  sort  of  a  copy  did  Blaikie 
send  you  ?  If  only  in  grey  paper  cover,  I  will  send  one 
in  buckram. 

You  must  get  here  somehow  after  the  rush  of  politics. 
I  hear,  on  good  authority,  that  old  Asquith  is  determined 
to  have  a  short  Session,  4  weeks,  whatever  happens. 
There  is  much  to  be  said  for  a  Prime  Minister  of  his  tem- 
perament.— Yours  ever,  G.  W. 

P.S. — If  you  only  knew  how  much  I  left  out  of  the 
Address  ! 

767 

To  his  Mother 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 

CHESTER,  6.xi.l(X 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  loved  your  letter,  and  if  I 
don't  write  to  you  now,  '  when  will  I  ?  '  For  to-morrow 
I  begin  a  row  of  speeches  in  our  Lancashire  campaign.  I 
have  written  the  first  one  out  and  sent  a  typed  copy  to 
the  '  Morning  Post.'  The  others  must  take  their  chance. 
I  shall  be  staying  at  the  Midland  Hotel,  Manchester. 

I  enclose  a  precious  letter.  Please  return  it.  W.  P. 
Ker,  the  writer,  is  the  one  man  alive,  now  that  Gaston 
Paris  is  dead,  whose  praise  of  my  *  Romance '  is  a  thing 
past  belief.  It  has  flabbergasted  me.  .  I  asked  him, 
humbly,  if  he  would  allow  me  to  dedicate;  it  to  him  ;  and 
he  gave  his  permission.  That  pleased  me  more  than  I 
can  say.  And  he  is  not  the  man  to  gush  over  anything. 
He  is  the  dryest  old  sarcastic,  silent,  Fellow-of-All-Souls, 
on  the  old  celibate  foundation ;  the  ripe  embodiment  of 


422          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

the  old  Oxford  tradition — '  nothing  new  and  nothing  true, 
and  no  matter.*  Besides  Oxford,  he  is  the  history  and 
literature  Professor  at  the  London  University.  Finally, 
and  '  therefore  I  love  him,'  in  spite  of  silence  and  sarcasm, 
he  wrote  '  Epic  and  Romance,'  '  The  Dark  Ages,'  and 
'  Mediaeval  Literature.'  And  yet  ...  I  can't  quite  be- 
lieve that  he  wrote  me  this  letter.  Of  course  one  must 
discount  a  good  deal.  It  is  the  tribute  of  a  sportsman  to 
a  poacher.  And  now  I  must  forget  it,  and  get  to  fresh 
work.  But  I  must  just  explain  that  what  he  says  '  I  don't 
like  being  spoken  of  as  a  master '  is  because,  in  the  copy 
I  sent  him,  I  wrote  '  To  William  Paton  Ker,  the  master, 
from  George  Wyndham,  the  disciple,'  and  I  meant  it. 

The  fresh  work  I  must  get  to  to-morrow  is  all  Tariff 
Reform  and  such  tedious  botherations,  and  suspicions, 
and  jealousies,  and  '  bull-rushes  '  from  Leo  Maxse,  and 
hesitations  and  all  the  -ations  that  rhyme  with  Damnation. 

But,  on  that  best  of  all  days  which  we  call  '  some  day,' 

1  promise  myself  a  combination  of  joy  and  work. 

It  occurred  to  me  quite  suddenly  about  4  days  ago.  I 
remembered  with  regret  the  big  book  I  meant  to  write 
about  romantic  literature,  with  a  leaning  towards  the 
French.  Then  I  began  to  remember  all  the  things  I 
have  written,  which  I  had  forgotten.  They  are  hidden 
away  in  '  The  New  Review '  (extinct),  '  Cosmopolis ' 
(extinct),  and  in  introductions  to  books  that  are  out  of 
print,  or  don't  sell.  Then  it  suddenly  flashed  on  me  that, 
without  knowing  it,  I  liave  written  f  (or  f )  of  my  book  ! 
And  I  see  exactly  what  remains  to  be  written.  The 
4  Springs  '  is  the  first  chapter.  I  never  thought  of  that ; 
it  was  a  toss  up  to  the  last  moment,  whether  I  wrote  it, 
or  an  essay  on  the  theme  of  the  2  sonnets  I  read  to  you 
the  other  day  at  breakfast.  Chapter  II. — not  written — 
will  be  '  The  Chroniclers  and  the  Crusades.'  It  is  not 
written,  but  I  have  all  the  stuff  and  many  notes.  That 
takes  me  right  through  the  13th  Century.  It  may  become 

2  chapters  in  order  to  bring  in  Dante  and  the  Spaniards. 
Then,  just  to  please  myself,  I  am  going  to  have  '  Songs ' 
(not  written).     But,  after  that  it  is  nearly  all  finished. 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  423 

IV.  (or  V.)  is  my  old  Poetry  of  the  Prison,  about  Charles 
D'Orl£ans  and  Villon  ('  New  Review,'  out  of  print) ;  V., 
or  VI.,  is  Chaucer  (not  written) ;  VI.,  or  VII.,  North's 
Plutarch,  written — indeed  I  must  cut  it  down  ;  VII.,  or 
VIII.,  is  Ronsard,  written.  Indeed  I  have  written  it 
twice  and  there  is  a  great  deal  in  the  old  article  in  '  Cosmo- 
polis  '  that  I  must  print  again.  VIII.,  or  IX.,  is  Shake- 
speare, written,  and  must  be  cut  down.  IX.,  or  X.,  is 
Elizabethan  Mariners  in  Elizabethan  Literature,  written 
in  the  '  Fortnightly '  12  years  ago.  X.,  or  XI.,  is  Scott, 
written.  XI.,  or  XII.,  is  the  new  French  romantics — not 
published,  but  almost  all  written  with  many  translations. 

And  besides  all  these  I  have  written  and  printed,  for  a 
last  movement,  2  speeches  on  literature  to  learned  societies, 
my  panegyric  on  Henley,  my  introduction,  about  Ruskin, 
to  Mary  Drew's  book,  that  made  £500,  for  her  church  not 
for  me.  My  articles  on  Henley  and  Maeterlinck,  printed 
in  the  '  Outlook.' 

Aren't  you  astonished  ?  I  was.  I  must  have  written 
3  volumes  of  prose,  without  knowing  it — like  M.  Jourdain, 
all  on  Literature,  and  quite  apart  from  '  The  Development 
of  the  State  '  and  articles  on  Politics. 

But  now  I  must  go  to  bed. — Your  most  loving  son, 

GEORGE. 
Enclosure 

ALL  SOULS  COLLEGE, 
OXFORD,  5  Nov.  1910. 

MY  DEAR  WYNDHAM, — This  is  a  glorious  thing — only  I 
don't  like  being  spoken  of  as  a  master — tho'  it  is  better 
than  professor,  when  one  thinks  of  it.  I  have  read  the 
discourse  with  great  delight — it  is  encouraging,  and  so  is 
your  letter.  Very  different  from  the  organised  mechanical 
research  that  I  come  upon  in  the  way  of  business.  An 
American  said  to  me  yesterday  that  it  was  a  complaint 
in  the  Universities  there,  how  people  seemed  to  give  up 
reading  when  they  took  to  the  study  of  literature .  Nothing 
good  is  done  except  by  adventurers — in  that  branch  of 
learning  anyhow — and  I  hope  you  will  go  on. — Ever  yours 
truly,  W.  P.  KER. 


424          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

768 

To  Lord  Hugh  Cecil 

35  PARK  LANE,  W. , 
18.xi.10. 

MY  DEAR  LINKY, — I  am  most  grateful  for  Percy's 
poems.  I  like  all  those  to  which  you  refer  me,  and  shall 
study  them  all.  I  like,  too,  *  The  Image  of  the  Heavenly  ' 
on  page  19  of  '  Broken  Lights.' 

I  enclose  the  two  sonnets.  I  had  altered  them  in  several 
places,  but,  on  the  whole,  prefer  the  first  form.  To  a 
certain  extent  they  belong  to  you  in  that  form,  for  I 
think  I  wrote  them  in  close  connection  with  a  talk  we 
had  walking  back  from  Broadway  to  Stanway. 

I  also  send  a  copy  of  my  Rectorial  Address.  It  is 
chiefly  historical  and  literary,  but  at  the  end — as  the  way 
is  with  my  thought — it  fades  away  '  far  in  the  unapparent.' 
Yet  the  last  movement  was  the  first  in  my  mind  when  I 
began  writing. — Yours  ever,  GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 


THE  GREEN  ROOM 

I 

The  world's  a  stage  : '  to  tread  it  we  assume 

A  sex,  tradition,  character  and  part. 

We  take  for  granted  a  great  Author's  art, 
Dazed  by  the  glare  abolishing  our  gloom. 
Bright  scenery  suggests  fair  hours  and  room 

To  conjure  laughter,  or  to  wring  the  heart. 

Who  laughs  ?  at  what  ?     Do  any  good  tears  start  ? 
We  guess  at  all  except  the  curtain's  doom. 
What  is  the  grave?     A  green-room  where  the  soul 

Puts  by  the  properties  of  man  or  maid. 
None  has  created,  few  can  fill  a  role, 

Most  only  walk  and  leave  their  lines  unsaid. 
The  grave  is  dumb  of  all  parts,  and  the  whole — 

A  drawer  for  masks  after  a  masquerade. 


TO  HIS  FATHER  425 

II 

'The  world's  a  stage/  where  courage,  love,  and  fun, 

Answer  the  riddle  of  Man's  agony. 

The  Author,  bent  on  grinding  out  these  three, 
Contrives  a  trap  no  artifice  may  shun. 
His  tragic  plot  entangles  everyone, 

Till  King  and  clown,  hag,  debutante,  all  see 

Danger 's  for  daring  ;  sorrow,  absurdity, 
For  laughter  and  kindness.     Then  the  play  is  done. 
What  is  the  grave  ?     A  green-room  where  the  soul, 

Disrobed  and  cleansed  from  travesty  of  paint, 
Stops  shuddering  at  'the  dagger  or  the  bowl.' 

That  grim  alternative  was  only  quaint, 
Since  fun,  and  love,  and  courage,  are  the  whole, 

And  each  poor  player,  a  hero,  fool,  and  saint. 

G.  W. 
5.iv.09. 

769 

To  his  Father 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

November  18th,  1910. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — I  am  sorry  to  say  that  I  shall  not 
be  able  to  shoot  at  Clouds  on  the  1st.  There  is  more  at 
stake  in  this  election  than  in  any  of  our  time  and  I  must 
be  free  to  fight  every  day. 

If  I  have  a  contest  in  Dover  I  shall  speak  there  once. 
Perhaps,  even  if  I  do  have  a  contest  I  shall  get  leave  to 
fight  where  the  issue  is  in  doubt.  In  either  case  I  cannot 
amuse  myself  during  the  battle. 

As  at  present  advised  I  shall  begin  in  Manchester  and 
surrounding  District,  work  down  the  West  to  Cornwall, 
via  Galley's  seat  in  Wiltshire,  and  then  ride  a  finish  in 
Lincolnshire  and  Yorkshire. 

Arthur  made  a  splendid  speech  last  night  and  things 
have  gone  well  with  us  in  the  House  to-day.  So  far  there 
is  nothing  to  regret  and,  even  if  there  was,  we  have  only 
to  fight  to  the  finish. — Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 


426          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

770 

To  his  Mother 

HACKWOOD,  BASINGSTOKE, 
November  20th,  1910. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  loved  getting  such  a  full- 
blown letter  from  you  at  this  fate-full  crisis. 

It  would  be  ridiculous  to  explain.     We  must  act. 

Well ;  I  can  only  say  this  to  you  and  Papa.  All  that 
I  am  from  you — the  largeness  and  the  precision — I  have 
been  allowed  to  say  in  this  utterly  secret  private  body  of 
persons  who  know,  and  care,  and  dare. 

I  do  not  believe  that  a  more  representative  group  could 
have  met  together.  Curzon,  Arthur  Balfour,  Lansdowne, 
Salisbury,  Selborne,  Harry  Chaplin,  F.  E.  Smith  and  self 
and  others. 

We  have  worked  hard  to-day  for  five  hours. 

I  am  satisfied  with  the  result. 

And  now  we  must  fight. 

But  it  would  make  me  happier  to  know  that  you  and 
Papa  realised  that  we  are  not  sparing  ourselves.  We 
mean  to  declare ;  to  shew  all  our  cards,  to  be  honest  and 
Patriotic  and  simple. 

If  we  win,  all  is  saved.  If  we  lose  ;  we  shall  win  when 
the  electorate  see. 

There  is  nothing  to  regret.  What  more  can  a  man  ask 
for. — Your  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

771 

To  his  Mother 

35  PARK  LANE, 

November  23,  1910. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — I  agree  with  Major  Poore. 
But  we  must  not  discuss  details  however  vital,  till  we 
have  won  the  battle  of  a  real  second  chamber  against 
no  real  one,  but  a  sham,  which  would  be  more  dangerous 
than  none  at  all. 

I  feel  quite  sure  that  we  shall  win,  if  not  in  the  next 
fortnight,  then  in  the  next  eighteen  months. 


TO  HIS  FATHER  427 

No  !  I  see  that  Major  Poore  has  got  hold  of  my  plan — 
viz. :  You  must  group  County  Councils  and  County 
Boroughs  together ;  and  in  that  grouping  we  shall  revert 
to  something  rather  like  the  Heptarchy. 

But  now  I  must  work.  I  am  speaking  at  the  Dover 
Chamber  of  Commerce  dinner  to-night,  and  shall  revive 
dear  Papa's  old  battle-cry  by  denouncing  the  Declaration 
of  London,  as  he  denounced  the  Declaration  of  Paris. 

We  are  doing  well  all  along  the  line.  I  go  to  Lancashire 
on  Monday. — Your  most  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

P.S. — If  the  other  side  demand  details  now  our  answer 
is  that  these  are  precisely  what  the  Parliament  they  have 
burked  ought  to  discuss. 

772 
To  his  Father 

35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

November  25th,  1910. 

MY  DEAREST  PAPA, — Delighted  to  get  your  letter  in 
such  good  heart,  considering  the  stresses  we  are  in. 

The  Declaration  of  London  is — as  you  guess — the  out- 
come of  Campbell-Bannerman's  tomfoolery  at  the  Hague. 

In  spite  of  what  you  say — justly — about  the  action  of 
Conservatives  in  the  seventies,  I  think  it  possible  that 
this  extreme  folly  may  lead  to  a  reversion  in  favour  of 
your  contention  against  the  Declaration  of  Paris. 

This  new  Declaration  of  London  has  been  attacked  by 
the  Chambers  of  Commerce  of  London,  Glasgow,  Liver- 
pool and  Bristol. 

The  attack  will  go  home. 

Incidentally  it  is  a  great  collateral  support  to  Preference. 

It  is  almost  incredible  but — shortly — this  is  the  position. 

(a)  We  abandoned  our  right  to  take  Enemy's  goods  (by 
the  Declaration  of  Paris)  in  neutral  ships  with — as  a  set- 
off — the  abolition  of  privateering  (not  subscribed  to  by 
America  and  Spain). 

(b)  The  new  Declaration  of  London  puts  '  Food-stuffs  ' 
first  in  articles  of  conditional  Contrabands. 


428          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

The  conditions  allow  Germany  to  take  or  sink  any  ship 
bringing  food-stuffs  to  England  ;  and  leave  us  powerless. 

It  is  a  premium  on  War  by  Germany  on  us,  without 
declaration  of  War. 

We  may  not  transfer  our  shipping  to  another  flag 
(an  ignominious  expedient — but  the  main  argument  for 
the  Declaration  of  Paris  urged  by  Sir  W.  Harcourt)  unless 
we  do  so  thirty  days  before  War. 

But  Germany  may  change  a  merchant  ship  into  a 
vessel  of  War,  after  hostilities.  That  is  tantamount  to 
reviving  privateering. 

And  this  is  to  be  the  rule  of  the  game  after 

(1)  We  have  surrendered  the  supremacy  of  the  sea. 

(2)  Concentrated  all  our  Fleet  in  the  North  Sea,  leaving 
the  Ocean  unprotected. 

(3)  With  no  punishment  for  destroying  a  ship,  except 
paying  the  cost  if  you  are  in  the  wrong  !  ! ! 

(4)  Whether  you  are  right  or  wrong  is  to  be  decided  by 
an  International  Board  on  which  Roumania  and  Argentina 
have  a  voice  equal  to  our  own. 

It  is  mad. 

And  so  are  the  Governments. — Your  devoted  son, 

GEORGE. 

P.S. — But  I  do  believe  it  will  scare  Lancashire. 

P.S.  2. — If  you  want  to  look  into  this  ask  Lord  Des- 
borough  (Willy  Grenfell)  to  send  you  the  report  of  the 
Committee  of  the  London  Chamber  of  Commerce  over 
which  he  presided.  He  will  be  glad  to  get  any  further 
publicity.  Tommy  Bowles  is  wild  about  it. 

Edward  Grey  has  promised  not  to  ratify  until  after  a 
debate  in  both  houses. 


773 

To  his  Mother 


35  PARK  LANE,  W., 

November  26,  1910. 


MOST  DARLING  MAMMA,— I  am  deeply  grieved  to  read 
the  sad  news  that  our  friend's  wife  is  dead.     I  have  written 


TO  CHARLES  WHIBLEY  429 

one  word  to  her  son,  Rudyard.     Will  you  tell  Mr.  Kipling 
that  I  am  thinking  of  him  ?  .  .  . 

Asquith's  speech  is  a  splendid  '  target.' 

I  have  been  hard  at  work,  arming  for  the  battle.  On 
Monday  it  begins.  My  interventions  are  Monday,  Man- 
chester, Tuesday,  Manchester,  Wednesday,  Warrington, 
Saturday,  Cheltenham,  Tuesday,  Stourbridge,  Friday, 
Swindon,  Tuesday,  Eyde. 

Beyond  that  I  wait  orders.  And  probably  I  shall  put 
in  one  or  two  more  in  between. 

But  these  seven,  that  are  arrayed,  are  all  to  big  audiences 
of  3000  to  4000  each. 

In  one  sense  it  is  a  great  tax  to  take  large  audiences, 
but,  in  another,  it  must  be  more  difficult  to  speak  in  rural 
villages.  Each  man  to  his  job  :  and  each  man  to  the 
large  audience  of  employers  and  artizans  ;  or  to  the  small 
audience  of  squire  and  farmer  and  solicitor  and  labourer 
— can  be  quite  sure  of  his  cause  on  the  Constitution 
and  on  Tariff  Reform;  and  sure  that  we  are  fighting 
honourable.  Very  well !  I  repeat  this  is  very  well  and 
to  my  taste.  It  is  a  great  comfort  to  say  '  Let  God 
defend  the  right ' — and  to  mean  it ! 

My  love  to  Papa. — Your  loving  son,  GEORGE. 

774 
To  Charles  Whibley 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  21st  December  1910. 

MY  DEAR  CHARLES, — I  am  moved  to  write  to  you.  I 
am  back  here  after  six  weeks  and  two  days  of  Politics.  I 
wish  you  could  come  here  for  a  bit  in  the  course  of  the 
next  fortnight.  You  may  retort  that  I  have  not  been 
to  Wavenden  Manor.  That  is  true.  But  consider  to 
how  many  places  I  have  been  owing  to  the  combined 
results  of  democracy  and  an  inept  central  office.  During 
this  Election,  and  well  inside  of  three  weeks,  I  have  been 
up  and  down  England  three  times.  I  think  I  have  done 


430          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

nearly  3000  miles  in  the  train.  Very  well,  then  ;  why 
should  not  you  come  here  even  although  I  have  not  been 
to  see  you  ?  I  put  it  to  you  that  I  ought  to  stay  here  for 
at  least  a  fortnight.  I  must  think,  before  acting. 

I  ran  up  against  Northcliffe  in  the  corridor  of  the  Houses 
of  Parliament,  just  before  the  Election.  We  suddenly 
met  and  pleasantly.  I  would  now  like  to  do  what  we 
have  spoken  of  more  than  once.  I  want  to  get  five  or 
six  or  seven  who  belonged  to  W.  E.  H.1  to  dine  with  me 
in  February.  I  note  that  W.  E.  H.'s  '  lines  '  are  becoming 
parts  of  English  speech.  He  would  have  been  glad  to  see 
that  happen.  It  was  inevitable.  But  it  has  happened 
soon.  I  wonder  if  this  always  happened  soon.  Did 
everybody  with  an  inkpot  quote  *  I  could  not  love  thee, 
dear,  so  much,'  etc.,  within  ten  years  ? 

I  purposely  take  a  hackneyed  quotation.  Some  things 
stick.  '  Where  's  Tray  and  where  's  the  Maypole  in  the 
Strand  '  sticks.  '  It 's  only  pretty  Fanny's  way  '  sticks. 
And  now  quite  a  number  of  Henley's  lines  have  begun  to 
stick.  But  it  is  of  his  best  that  sticks.  He  is  there  with 
his  best.  That  is  a  great  sign  of  excellence. 

All  this  is  relaxation.  I  have  been  fighting  hard  in  twelve 
constituencies,  and  I  know  we  have  to  fight  harder  for  all 
that  has  value.  I  should  like  to  talk  over  the  muffled 
revolution  with  you.  I  don't  want  to  *  spar '  in  private. 
But  I  do  want  to  submit  my  idea  of  a  counter-revolution 
to  a  friend  who  is  not  a  politician,  but  a  student  of  politics 
and  an  Imperialist. — Yours  ever, 

GEORGE  WYNDHAM. 


775 

To  Hilaire  Belloc 


SAIGHTON, 
Xmas  Eve,  1910. 


MY  DEAR  HILAIRE  BELLOC, — I  will  write  to  you  once 
more  about  your  '  Verses  ' ;  2  but  only  garrulously.  This 
is  not  a  considered  appreciation.  It  is  the  resultant  of 

1  W.  E.  Henley. 

2  Verses  by  H.  Belloc.     Published  by  Duckworth  and  Co. 


TO  HILAIRE  BELLOC  431 

two  forces.  New  poetry  compels  my  attention.  Old 
letters — and  how  many  lie  unanswered  before  me — dispel 
my  industry.  I  will  have  none  of  them  to-night.  I  have 
done  my  share  of  work  the  last  six  weeks.  I  had  taken  a 
resolve  not  to  lapse  into  letters.  I  had  sworn  to  myself 
that  I  would  rest  and  ride  and  tackle  Politics  in  four  days' 
time.  And,  then,  here  you  come  along  with  your  volume 
of  Verse  ;  and  I  don't  want  to  rest ;  I  read  them  before 
dinner  ;  read  some  of  them  to  Sibell  at  dinner  ;  read  them 
again  after  dinner.  Now  I  am  in  a  warm,  lighted  room 
at  the  top  of  my  tower.  The  wind  is  trying  to  say  the 
world's  story  of  wrong  and  liberty.  It  is  trying  to  talk 
like  a  dog  whose  feelings  have  been  hurt  by  its  master's 
absence,  or  like  a  ghost  with  a  tremendous  secret  and  no 
articulate  tongue  to  tell  it.  The  wind  shuffles  and  whimpers 
round  the  corners  of  the  tower  and  bluffs  off  in  gusts  of 
despair  to  the  hills,  and  then  comes  back  suddenly  and 
tugs  at  the  latticed  windows.  The  wind's  inarticulate 
tongue  and  wounded  wrath  and  soft  gushes  of  clean  air 
prove  to  me  the  great  need  of  verse.  Without  verse  Man 
is  as  helpless  as  the  wind  and  more  miserable.  Glad  am  I 
to  have  not  only  the  lighted  warmth  but  also  your  Verses. 

I  will  not  deny  that  people  are  right  when  they  say  that 
4  The  South  Country '  is  the  best  of  them.  Nor  will  I  deny 
that  your  sarcastic  verses  about  the  rich  and  South  Africa 
seem  to  me  not  so  much  out  of  place  as  in  the  way  of  the 
larger  sayings. 

4  Everybody,'  I  suppose,  will  say  these  two  things  :  and 
I  belong  to  the  herd. 

Perhaps  because  this  is  Christmas  Eve  I  am  lured  by 
4  Noel '  and  4  The  Birds  '  and  '  Our  Lord  and  Our  Lady.' 
But,  of  that  group,  4  In  a  Boat '  is  the  one  that  hits  me 
and  will  hit  the  herd,  some  day. 

In  literature  a  great  deal  depends  on  what  the  writer 
does  with  the  great  emotions  of  Man ;  and  by  these  I 
mean — (at  this  moment) — Passionate  love,  Passionate 
courage  and  Passionate  fear. 

Now  most  writers  shirk  Fear.  Some — and  I  am  one 
— smother  it  under  Courage  and  Love.  I  have  said  that 


432          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

courage  is  the  fundamental  thing.  But — after  reading 
your  Verses — I  am  prepared  to  be  taught  that  Fear  is 
under  courage.  I  used  to  hate  the  '  Fear  of  God  '  in  the 
Bible.  But  no  honest  man  will  deny  that  the  sense  of 
chasm  and  inanity  and  being  lost — like  a  child — is  the 
base  of  man's  being.  You  get  that  '  In  a  Boat '  !  You 
soothe  that  in  '  The  Night.'  You  comfort  that  with 
magic  in  '  The  Leader.'  '  The  Leader '  is  large  enough 
and  vague  enough  to  help  us  all.  It  helps  the  practical 
man  in  us  with  '  And  after  them  all  the  guns,  the  guns.' 
It  helps  the  seeing  man  in  us  with 

'  She  stretched  her  arms  and  smiled  at  us 
Her  head  was  higher  than  the  hills.' 

And  then  you  revert  to  the  primal  truth  of  our  station, 
or  absence  of  station  : 

'  She  led  us  to  the  endless  plains, 
We  lost  her  in  the  dawn.' 

'  The  Leader '  is  a  poem  :  I  believe,  a  great  poem. 
But  the  biggest  thing  in  your  book  is  '  The  Prophet  Lost 
in  the  Hills  at  Evening.'  That  is  great ;  because  you 
have  taken  the  emotional  vision  which  came  to  you  in 
the  Pyrenees  ;  and  made  it  true  for  us  all  anywhere.  It 
is  as  true  of  a  General  Election  as  of  ascending  a  mountain 
range  and  coming  down  on  the  same  side.  This  is  the 
biggest  thing  you  have  done  ;  and  you  have  done  it  on  the 
right,  crusading,  side  of  Faith.  When  Peter  Wanderwide 
meets  St.  Peter,  the  Porter  of  Heaven,  and  St.  Michael,  they 
will  both  know  beforehand  that  you  wrote  it.  They  will 
love  you  for  your  faults  but  they  will  respect  you  for  this. 

You  will,  probably,  be  very  angry  with  me  for  saying 
so,  and  furious  when  I  compare  it  with  Henley  and  Kipling. 
Yet  that  is  the  comparison.  Your  '  Prophet '  is  as  vast 
and  true  as  '  out  of  the  night  that  covers  me  '  but  it  is 
more  true.  It  is  as  brave  as  Kipling's  '  But  I  didn't, 
but  I  didn't,  I  went  down  the  other  side  ' ;  but  it  has 
the.  humility  of  a  greater  courage.  '  By  God  'tis  Good  ' 
(Ben  Jonson),  and  it  is  by  God.  .  .  . 


TO  HILAIRE  BELJAJC  433 

At  this  moment  the  Waits  have  cornc  to  sing  outside 
my  Tower.  In  their  way  they  arc  ringing  'And  harbour 
me — Almighty  God  !  '  under  the  inscrutable  stars.  And 
the  uneasy  wind  has  dropped.  It  is  rumbling  an  obligato 
accompaniment  to  their  simple  crystal  melody  of  certi- 
tude in  the  inane. 

Naturally  I  delight  in  the  "  Cuckoo  '  and  the  Drinking 
songs  and  '  The  Little  Serving  Maid.'  These  are  the 
songs  that  men  have  sung  for  30,000  ycavs  and  you  sing 
them  well. 

If  I  presumed  to  '  appreciate  '  1  should  rank  them  next 
after  the  Christmas  Carols — Our  L«dy — group.  Both 
these  groups  are  of  things  that  are  necessary  and  you  have 
done  them  right  well  for  us,  once  again. 

'  In  a  Boat '  is  a  transition  from  these  to  the  heights  of 
4  The  Leader  '  and  the  summit  of  c  The  Wophet  Lo^t  in 
the  Hills  at  Evening.' 

The  other  Group  in  your  book  that  ranks  with  these 
and  will  be  preferred  by  some — though  net  by  me,  is  made 
up  of  '  A  Bivouac.'  (That 's  true  !  It  happened  to  rnc 
in  the  Soudan.  I  was  asleep  dreaming  behind  the  Zariba 
of  those  I  loved,  and  then  the  Hadendowas  suddenly  shot 
at  us  and  knocked  out  the  signal  lamp.)  And  of  '  The 
Yellow  Mustard.'  The  Yellow  Mustard  is  as  good  as  it 
can  be.  Some  will  prefer  it  to  the  *  Prophet.'  It  is  the 
way,  or  a  way,  by  which  some,  who  cannot  defy  the  chasm 
of  space,  or  appeal  from  its  grisly  immensity — '  And 
harbour  me — Almighty  God  ! ' — do  get  to  an  absolute 
release  from  horror.  Any  man  who  can  sing 

To  see  the  yellow  mustard  grow 
Beyond  the  town  above,  beloAv 
Beyond  the  purple  houses,  oh ! 
To  see  the  yellow  mustard  grow — 

is  happy,  and  safe. 

He  doesn't  know  why  he  is  happy  and  safe.  But  he 
knows  that  he  is  secure.  He  breaks  out  of  the  prison  of 
Time  into  Eternity.  Like  God,  in  the  first  chapter  of 
Genesis,  he  sees  that  it  is  good. 

VOL.   II.  9.V. 


434          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

I  am  not  as  well  versed  as  I  should  be  in  the  '  Old  Testa- 
ment.' But,  speaking  from  memory  on  the  moment,  I 
believe  I  have  always  felt  that  in  Genesis  alone  God 
descends  to  Man,  and  that,  between  Genesis  and  the  In- 
carnation, you  have  nothing  but  the  Chasm  and  Jeremiads. 

The  best  things  in  your  book  are — each  in  its  separate 
way — the  '  Prophet '  and  the  4  Yellow  Mustard.'  One 
gives  a  refuge  and  the  other  an  evasion.  But  the  refuge 
is  best.  In  the  '  Prophet '  you  sing  of  immortality  hi 
immortal  words.  .  .  . 

And  now,  once  more,  the  Waits  are  singing  the  English 
version  of  '  Adeste  Fideles.'  I  am  glad  to  know  that  the 
tune  is  comparatively  modern.  *  I  am  not  Time's  fool,' 
though  I  do  hanker  after  the  thirteenth  century.  I  can 
say  with  all  my  heart  and  more  than  all  my  brain  '  O  come 
let  us  adore  Him.'  The  little  figure  of  Notre  Dame  de 
Paris  which  I  bought,  '  te  duce '  after  our  walk  into 
Burgundy,  is  now  in  a  beautiful  gold  shrine  (in  Sibell's 
chapel)  made  by  the  village  carpenter. 

How  and  when  did  you  write  4  The  Prophet  Lost  in 
the  Hills  at  Evening  '  ?  It  does  not  matter.  Thank  God 
that  you  wrote  it  and  accept  my  thanks  as  an  earnest  of 
Man's  gratitude.  '  By  God  'tis  Good.'  I  don't  suppose 
you  know  how  good  it  is. 

The  critic  will  say  that 

I  hunger  and  I  have  no  bread. 

My  gourd  is  empty  of  the  wine. 
Surely  the  footsteps  of  the  dead 

Are  shuffling  softly  close  to  mine  ! 

is  the  best  thing  in  it. 

He  will  fail  to  observe  that  this  imaginative  simplicity 
is  led  up  to  by  the  two  preceding  quatrains.  He  will  fail 
to  observe  the  '  It  darkens,'  that  follows  immediately, 
and  the  repeat,  c  it  darkens,'  which  precedes  the  climax. 

Stand  about  my  wraith, 
And  harbour  me — Almighty  God  ! 

I  am  glad  that  so  big  a  thing  has  been  done  secundum 
Artem.  To  make  *  wraith  '  rhyme  with  '  Faith  '  at  the 


TO  HIS  SISTER,  MADELINE  435 

finish — not  only  inevitably  but,  accumulatively,  '  beats 
Banagher.'  But  all  the  rhymes  are  glorious  and  the 
Poem  they  wing  on  its  flight  hits  the  gold  of  emancipa- 
tion from  the  sorrow  of  Man. — Yours  ever,  G.  W. 

P.S. — '  And  I  am  awfully  afraid.' 

I  bow  to  you  for  that  line. 

The  whole  poem  is  the  best  I  have  read  by  any  man 
now  living.  It  will  be  repeated  by  little  children — know- 
ing nothing  of  the  horror  you  have  sounded — as  long 
as  our  language  is  spoken.  My  Christmas  present  to 
you  is  a  solemn  declaration  that  in  this  poem  you  have 
4  done  it.'  You,  who  are  more  troubled  than  I  over 
Immortality,  have  attained  it  in  this  poem  and  given  it 
to  others. 

What  a  mercy  it  was  that  you  lost  your  way  in  the 
Pyrenees ! 

776 

To  his  Sister,  Madeline 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  ll.i.ll. 

MOST  DARLING  MANENAi, — I  must  wind  up  to-day  with 
a  word  of  love  to  you.  For  one  reason,  naughty  Sibell 
only  gave  me  to-day  your  little  Christmas  note  of  23 
December  1910  !  I  do  not  blame  her.  In  the  absence 
of  Benny  and  Shelagh  she  tries  to  run  everything.  To- 
night she  went,  with  Clare,  who  is  here  to  hunt,  to  Chester 
to  judge  a  children's  Fancy  Dress  Ball  for  the  League  of 
Pity.  But  where  does  Pity  come  in  ?  It  left  me  in,  even 
for  me,  the  most  funny  surroundings.  I  dined  alone  with 
(1 )  Clare's  French  Governess,  (2)  Ursula's  German  Governess . 

Well,  I  made  the  best  of  it,  and  really  enjoyed  my 
evening.  We  talked  French  all  the  time  and  wound  up 
with  Rostand's  '  Chantecler.'  I  was  quite  happy  and 
welcomed  the  opportunity  of  three  hours'  French  on  end. 

Pamela  sent  little  Clare  here,  to  hunt  and  be  with  us. 
So  far  it  has  been  a  great  success — I  think — and  we  are 
off  to  hunt  together  to-morrow. 

Charles  Gatty,   George   Street,   Mark  Sykes,   Mahaffy, 


436 

Ronny  Norman,  and  so  forth,  have  been  here — all  very 
literary  and  archaeological. 

But  we  did  get  a  point  on  Saturday.  We  went  to 
Beeston,  the  old  Norman  ruined  castle  on  a  crag.  On  the 
way  up,  Mark  Sykes  said,  '  That  cutting — the  way  they 
rode  up — must  be  Roman,  not  Norman.'  I  answered, 
'  Roman  !  My  dear  boy,  a  knob  like  this  has  been  held 
by  man  for  10,000  or  20,000  years  before  the  Romans  got 
here.'  Hardly  had  I  spoken,  when  at  the  very  top, 
loosened  out  from  its  secure  abode  by  the  last  night's 
rain,  we  found  the  most  perfect  little  flint  arrow-head  I 
have  ever  seen,  with  clear  cut  edges,  point  and  both  barbs, 
and  as  transparent  as  onyx — a  gem. 

My  dear !  why  do  we  fret  ?  Life  is  immortal. — Your 
devoted  brother,  GEORGE. 

777 
To  Wilfrid  Ward 

SAIGHTON, 
CHESTER,  January  I3th,  1911. 

MY  DEAR  WILFRID, — I  have  read  the  January  '  Dublin  ' 
with  deep  and  varied  interest. 

Your  political  article  is  most  true,  because  it  is  profound 
and  calm. 

My  knowledge — such  as  it  is — informs  me  that  '  Demo- 
cracy '  has  never  lasted  a  whole  generation.  Ferrero's 
new  history  of  Rome  demonstrates  this.  When  an  oli- 
garchy, based  on  war  and  farming,  perishes,  you  get  a 
good  two  generations,  or  three  generations,  of  '  Roman 
Equites.'  The  prudent  and  thoughtful  oust  the  political 
militia.  But,  they  always  invoke  Democracy  after  thirty 
or  sixty  years.  Then  Democracy  develops  the  '  cry  '  and 
the  *  caucus  '  and  so  dies ;  giving  place  to  Bureaucracy,  or 
Caesarism,  or  a  combination  of  the  two. 

My  '  little  knowledge  '  tells  me  that  this  is  our  disease. 
But  my  astonishing — at  forty-seven  years  of  age — credulity 
and  buoyant  animal  spirits  say  to  me  '  Tush  !  the  English 
will  do  something  that  no  one  else  has  done.' 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  437 

If  it  were  possible  to  tell  one's  friends  all  that  one  thinks 
and  writes  and  does,  I  should  like  to  show  you  all  the 
memoranda  I  have  written  during  the  last  year.  But 
that  would  take  as  long  as  it  has  taken  to  play  my  part 
in  this  obscure  drama. 

Again,  in  the  January  '  Dublin,'  Belloc  is  good.  Some 
will  denounce  him  for  making  things  too  obvious.  Still, 
he  does,  in  that  article,  explain  to  Tariff  Reformers,  and 
Socialists  what  it  is  that  is  worrying  them. 

I  read  again,  after  many  years,  Ruskin's  introduction 
to  '  Unto  this  Last.'  Some  one,  who  has  time,  ought  to 
write  an  article  on  that.  It  is  wonderful  that  any  man 
in  1858-9  should  have  demanded  (1)  for  the  start  of  life, 
National  Education ;  (3)  for  the  end  of  life,  '  Old  Age 
Pensions.'  Given  these  ratifications  of  what  then  seemed 
ranting,  it  is  well  worth  any  man's  while  to  read  his  (2) 
for  the  middle  of  life.  It  is  the  middle  of  life  that  I  care 
for.  The  voyage  is  more  essential  than  the  yard  in  which 
the  ship  is  built  or  the  '  port '  which  she  makes.  The 
1  yard  '  and  the  '  port '  exist  for  the  '  voyage.' 

Of  course  I  was  enchanted  by  Eccles  on  Romance.  I 
can't  say  how  glad  I  am.  I  knew  where  he  would  criticise  ; 
and  deliberately  left  out  the  argument  founded  on  St. 
Michael,  which  he  puts  in  a  foot-note. 

W.  P.  Ker  who  knows  more  about  these  things  than 
any  one  now  Gaston  Paris  is  dead,  wrote  me  a  letter  about 
that  address  which  took  my  breath  away.  He  is  not 
lavish  of  praise,  or,  indeed,  of  any  words.  Yet  he  said 
'  This  is  a  glorious  thing.'  So,  I  got  the  only  people  for 
whose  opinion  I  care  ;  on  that  subject. — Yours  ever, 

GEORGE  W. 

778 
To  his  Mother 

SAIGHTON  GRANGE, 
CHESTER,  23rd  January  1911. 

MOST  DARLING  MAMMA, — It  was  like  you  to  produce 
the  very  box  for  my  flint  arrow-head.  I  got  a  glimpse 


438          LETTERS  OF  GEORGE  WYNDHAM 

of  Cyncie  on  Thursday  and  dined  with  Benny.  I  had  not 
seen  him  since  his  South  African  tour.  We  had  a  great 
talk  over  S.  African  politics  and  his  2nd.  property  there 
on  which  he  is  growing  wonderful  crops  of  cotton.  This 
venture  is  exactly  the  kind  of  thing  which  rich  people 
ought  to  do  and  all  the  cotton  magnates  are  agog  with 
interest.  He  has  grown  £5  worth  of  cotton  from  each 
acre  for  which  he  paid  two  pennies.  But,  then,  he  took 
the  lead  and  the  risk  and  is  now  deeply  interested  in 
getting  the  Chartered  Company  and  the  Colonial  Office 
to  realise  what  has  been  done.  I  do  not  suppose  that 
you  know  what  good  work  '  Timmy  '  is  doing  as  a  director 
of  the  Chartered  Company.  Timmy,  with  Birchenough 
and  Jameson,  are  the  three  whom  everybody  respects  for 
their  work,  and  for  '  developing '  the  country  instead  of 
merely  '  floating  '  shares. 

Benny,  Perf  and  I,  had  quite  a  good  day's  hunting  on 
Friday,  and  on  Saturday  we  had  the  '  real  thing  ' — a 
slashing  gallop  and  forty  minutes  to  the  first  check.  I 
enjoyed  it  hugely,  but  was  very  stiff  after  it.  Yesterday 
I  dined  with  our  new  General,  Sir  W.  Henry  Mackinnon 
at  Government  House,  and  had  a  useful  evening.  At 
last  we  have  a  man  who  will  move.  We  have  got  one, 
and  may  get  two,  ranges  for  musketry.  Chang,  Ego, 
Letty  and  Guy  Charteris  came  here  Saturday  to  Monday. 
We  hunt  to-morrow  and  other  days.  On  Friday  I  must 
attend  my  half-yearly  Railway  meeting,  but  get  back  to 
have  the  2nd  in  command,  4  Squadron  Leaders  and 
Adjutant  to  dine  and  sleep  here  ;  so  as  to  discuss  Yeo- 
manry before  I  am  engulfed  in  Politics. 

Of  course  I  am  doing  too  many  things.  But  .  .  .well  ? 
I  still  like  doing  them ;  and  the  Railway  people,  and 
Yeomanry  and  soldier  people,  and  hunting  people  all 
help  to  pull  together  ;  so  do  the  literary  people.  I  brought 
Belloc  back  late  last  night  after  my  dinner  with  the 
General.  He  had  been  lecturing  in  Manchester,  and 
Liverpool  and  lectured  again  to-night.  He  was  in  great 
form  and  enchanted  us  at  luncheon  to  which  Benny  came. 
The  Political  people,  on  the  other  hand,  with  whom  my 


TO  HIS  MOTHER  439 

lot  is  cast,  do  not  pull  together  and  do  not  enchant  me. 
Yet — as  a  consolation  I  reflect — that  the  great  woof  of 
English  life,  with  its  soldiering,  and  railways,  and  sporty, 
and  literature,  goes  on  getting  woven  and  is  far  more 
substantial  than  the  intrigues  of  Party  Politics  or  the 
grasping  dreams  of  Socialism.  That  is  why  I  cannot 
share  dear  Papa's  depression  over  politics.  The  real 
working  life  of  the  country  is  so  much  more  to  me  than 
the  mischievous  tomfoolery  of  cranks  and  scamps. 

I  do  not  deny  the  menace  of  their  tomfoolery.  But  I 
do  def